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Fishermen use explosives, electrical shock, despite gov't ban

16 March 2017 | 02:03:00 PM

Environmentalists have repeatedly warned about the depletion of fishery resources as fishermen use electrical impulses and mines, ignoring the ban and heavy sanctions.

Nguoi Lao Dong reported that on February 28, seven fishing boats were discovered catching fish with explosives in the Buc Lo waters in Binh Thuan province, near the Ca Na Tourism Complex of Ninh Thuan.

Local people said coracles and small-capacity fishing boats with no plate numbers appear in the Vinh Hao area in Tuy Phong district regularly to catch fish. They stay about 100 meters offshore, throw explosives into the sea and then dive for fish.

In general, they throw about 20 mines on each fishing trip which frighten travelers. “They are locals,” a man said.

It is now the high fishing season as the sea current is bringing fish to the sea area. According to the man, very few fish can be caught, and the fishing method kills many kinds of aquatic creatures.

“They can only catch a few fish, while the others drift away. However, many fish die because of the explosives. Some people also have died,” he said.

However, fishermen still use the life-threatening method.

Meanwhile, farmers in Lam Dong province and the Central Highlands have the habit of catching fish by sending electric shocks into the water which kill fish. This allows them to catch more fish than with a traditional method.

K’P, a farmer in Da Huoai district in Lam Dong province, said locals began using electric fishing ten years ago, but the method has become more common recently as more families can buy the instruments.

However, the volume of fish is diminishing. “We have to go fishing at night, because fish hide in the daytime,” he said.

“We can catch 3-5 kilos of fish on each night fishing trip. We catch nearly nothing if we go fishing in the daytime,” he said.

What K’P calls ‘the fishing instrument’ comprises a 12V battery, connected with an electrical stimulus unit, and two 2-meter long bamboo rods mounted with sharp iron and iron racket. When switching, they can generate the 110-220V electricity current.
With this fishing method, all aquatic creatures, from baby fish to plankton within the radius of 1.5-2 meters will be killed.

As such, environmentalists warn, fisheries resources cannot reproduce, leading to a rapid decline in the number of aquatic species, affecting biodiversity.

Under current regulations, fishing with electrical shocks is subject to a fine of VND1-2 million


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