Dynamite fishing in Tanzania
Concern militants might infiltrate.
Dynamite fishing in Tanzania: Clear and present danger not just to tourism
BY PROF. WOLFGANG H. THOME, PH.D., ETN AFRICA CORRESPONDENT
Possession and use of explosives is not just an ordinary criminal offense in Uganda, Rwanda, or Kenya. In this day and age, it is an offense under the respective anti-terrorism legislation, and for good reasons.
In both Rwanda and Uganda, explosives were used in the past against soft targets by elements violently opposed to the governments of the day. In Kenya today, it is Al Shabab and their sympathizers which use homemade, industrial, and military explosives to manufacture improvised explosive devices, in short IEDs, to terrorize ordinary people.
Yet in Tanzania, there seems to exist a flourishing “industry” which uses a mix of homemade and industrial explosive materials to hunt for fish along the reefs off the coastline from South of Dar es Salaam all the way to Tanga and beyond. Observation of the criminal practice confirmed that much of the yellow-fin tunas, which are either killed outright or stunned, are not even scooped out of the water. They are left to sink to the bottom of the sea, depleting breeding stocks and decimating the catch of ordinary normal fishermen who have been plying their trade for generations upon generations with hand lines and nets. Leisure fishing has been seriously affected, it could be established during a recent visit to Dar es Salaam, and while officially reef fishing has been banned by the Ministry of Fisheries, there is in any case literally nothing left along lengthy stretches of the coast on both sides of Dar es Salaam to fish for, as the fish and the reef have been killed off by the use of such explosives.
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