Statement from scientists and managers on DESTRUCTIVE FISHING PRACTICES at the 9th International Coral Reef Symposium, Bali - Indonesia, 22 Oct 2000.


Destructive fishing practices – priorities for management


The forum on destructive fishing practices (DFP) at the 9th ICRS concluded with a lively discussion amongst participants of the nature of the threat posed to coral reefs by DFP and the management solutions needed. Many participants emphasized that although DFPs often take a back seat to more “sexy” reef problems such as global warming, on a regional basis DFPs must be considered a primary threat to coral reefs. In Indonesia, for example, blast and cyanide fishing are indisputably THE biggest threats to coral reefs, and the destruction wrought by these is ongoing and clearly visible NOW. Just as importantly, straightforward and achievable management solutions have been demonstrated and now require only funding and the political will to implement them. On solution to the problem of cyanide fishing for the aquarium trade that received particular attention is the use of “ecolabelling” market techniques to shift the burden of proof of sustainably collected marine organisms to the country of export. Another management issues that was raised is the absolute need for strict enforcement measures against DFP practitioners; “carrot” programs such as alternative income schemes are highly prone to failure if not combined with the “stick” of strong enforcement. Economic analysis demonstrates that NOT enforcing blast fishing regulations is now costing the Indonesian society over US$ 200 million per year.



Mark Erdmann Natural Resources Management Program 2

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