The negative effects of blast fishing on coral reefs in Indonesia: Can they recover?

S. England \ Oceans First, Issue 1, 2014, pgs. 44-50.

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Blast fishing, the destructive and illegal fishing method that involves using dynamite, is the cause of extensive damage to many coral reefs throughout Southeast Asia. Using explosives not only kills the vast majority of organisms within the blast radius, but also shatters coral skeletons leaving large rubble fields that prevent the recovery of damaged coral. Methods of rehabilitation have been implemented in order to determine how effective rehabilitation is in aiding the regrowth and recovery of damaged reefs near Indonesia. Economically friendly methods such as using rock piles, plastic mesh and cement slabs as treatments were examined and compared. The results of the studies showed that rock piles increased biodiversity and favoured the recovery of hard coral cover more than the other two treatment methods. Although rehabilitation is necessary for reef recovery, the elimination of blast fishing is equally as important to ensure healthy reefs and newly recovered reefs are not harmed.