Small-scale fishing today more destructive than ever
Current small-scale fishing practices in the Philippines are causing more damage to the country’s coral reefs than ever, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia.
Evaluating the the evolution of fishing methods from 1950 and 2010, researchers discovered that, starting in the 1960s, the use of sustainable methods such as hook and line fishing remained stable. During the period, however, they also found a jump in the use of fishing practices that were more destructive — even illegal — such as explosives and poison.
What’s worse is that approximately a quarter of the fishers in the region use these tools. The practice persists notwithstanding that these were outlawed by the Philippine government in 1932.
Jennifer Selgrath, the lead author and a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia during the research study, said the country can improve protecting its marine resources if it fully implements its new fishing laws on sustainability.
She added that fisher groups, with aid from local authorities, can also contribute to monitoring the situation.