The Many Advantages of Blast Fishing and a New Method of Coral Propagation

The following article was written by Evil Eric from a parallel universe. It may contain offensive material of a graphic nature. We do not suggest you try anything contained herein at home or anywhere else. Parental advisory is suggested. If you do not like or have not seen the Liver Donor's scene in Monty Python's, The Meaning of Life, this article may not be for you. If you have been disgusted by, or shook your head in disbelief of the scene in South Park where a small rodent seeks enlightenment by trying to escape the bowels of a gay teacher's assistant named Mr. Slave, you should probably hit the back button on your browser now. If you didn't laugh when Anthony Calfo shows photos of a small plastic angel with exposed genitalia being covered with fire coral, you may not find this funny either. Don't say we didn't warn you. Don't write to us after being warned about being offended and say, "Hey, I was offended." We make no claims to support the twisted views expressed in this article or apologies for the working of this author's obviously tormented thoughts. You might find it in poor taste, but remember taste is in the tongue of the food critic. Read at your own risk.


Over the past decade, the use of destructive fishing techniques has become a worldwide concern in its role in the degradation of corals reefs. In particular, the use of blast fishing is one of the most destructive techniques. In this article, I will describe how the aquarium trade can turn this practice around and utilize such techniques for its own end.

The Practice of Dynamite Fishing

Because so much of the world's ocean fisheries and, in particular, fisheries surrounding coral reefs have become so depleted from commercial fishing, methods have been developed by local fisherman to collect the maximum number of fishes per effort. Included among these methods are the innovative methods of using sticks of dynamite and homemade bombs. Fisherman have found that by having one member of a fishing party in the water spotting fish schools, they can then signal the other members to lob sticks of dynamite and homemade bombs into the water, exploding underwater and resulting in vast numbers of fish being successfully killed.

Blast fishing is the wave of the future. Water blows up real good!

The process of acquiring sticks of dynamite and/or TNT is often regulated and therefore might be difficult for fishermen to acquire. The Acme dynamite company is frequently sold out of such products, often because of high demand by other industries such as Warner Bros, the Road Runner Conservation Fund, and various terrorist networks. The Bush administration is working on supplying alternative explosives to these industries, but recent demands for explosives have been diverted to other efforts in the past few months. Fortunately, the pioneering works of private individuals, such as Timothy McVeigh, have allowed third world countries to take basic information and create their own materials from locally plentiful resources.

Wiley Coyote's efforts to capture the Road Runner have put a serious dent in the supply of dynamite available to those who need it most: the modern blast fisherman.

In the making of a fish bomb, kerosene is combined with fertilizer and the explosive mixture is poured into a glass bottle, such as a Coke bottle. The foil wrapper from a cigarette pack is laid out flat and filled with the carefully pulverized heads of wooden matches. The foil is then rolled up, creating a makeshift fuse. The matchstick heads must be carefully sorted to remove any bits of wood that may unacceptably increase the burn rate of the fuse. The fuse is then stuck into the bottle, and the bottle made water-tight by stuffing the rubber part of a flip-flop sandal around the fuse into the bottle. Flip-flops are fortunately very common in tropical areas, and an additional resource is available because of the plentiful amount of sandals and plastics thrown overboard and washed onto tropical beaches around the world. Sometimes, during turtle poaching, flip-flops can even be found in the stomachs of the illegal quarry. Thus, costly trips to shore to acquire new flip-flops can sometimes be avoided, allowing bombing to continue unabated while offshore.

On a typical day, blast fisherman may use as
many as half of the flip-flops pictured here.

Once a bomb is made and lit, is it tossed towards a fish-spotter and if correctly fused, the bomb explodes in the midst of a school of fish, or on the reef, where it shatters the reef and pulverizes fish. Sometimes, fish are merely stunned and float to the surface. Other times, chunks of fish result, eliminating the time consuming need for gutting and filleting. Equally often, the majority of fish sink and are unavailable for consumption by the fisherman and their clients, but that's ok, too, for the mass of dead fish merely feed the bottom community and provide needed food for other hungry animals. Sharks are frequently attracted by this bounty, and this can provide ample opportunity for the shark finning groups to gain an advantage over their competition.

The biggest downside seen to this practice is that occasionally fishermen are also blown to bits by the bombs, and many fishermen have lost body appendages, as well. However, such lost appendages can potentially be used in transplants for other injuries or for medical experiments. Furthermore hampering the otherwise innovative blast techniques, glass shards in the fish captured must sometimes be removed from the catch prior to cooking them. There is currently no way of getting around this unfortunate complication, except to say that candlelight reflecting on a fish dinner with glass shards impregnated in the flesh can be absolutely stunning, and may do away with any needs for other garnish or food presentation enhancements. Many have stated that the nuances and subtle flavors of various grades of kerosene and fertilizer enhance the flavor of certain fish species. Fishermen have been experimenting with various combinations that result in the most desirable of fuel/ammonium flavor complexities.

Further Advantages of Blast Fishing

Perhaps most desirable among the side effects of blast fishing is that the reef is blown into small bits of unconsolidated rubble that may never recover. Bombs can blow a 20m diameter piece of reef into bejillions of little bits. Such reef rubble no longer makes it difficult to get nets into the reef to collect fish for the aquarium trade, fishing lines will no longer become entangled, anchors will no longer be ensnared, swimming areas for tourists are created, and all manner of boats will be able to approach shorelines unimpeded by the reefs. Perhaps most fortuitous is that the blast creates thousands upon thousands of coral fragments and pieces of live rock that can be used by the aquarium trade. This is certainly an area that can be exploited by the aquarium trade. Why use crowbars or tedious mariculture to collect or produce coral fragments and live rock when bombs can be used much more efficiently?


Blast fishing is the way of the future. Who needs coral reefs when all we really need are the products of coral reefs? The many advantages of blast fishing are clearly shown, and no longer do we need to bother with pesky green ideas like coral aquaculture, sustainable fisheries, reef management. Diving tourism may be the only real industry negatively affected, but divers are an annoying lot for the most part. They are sucking up all our air anyway. I say that any unused explosives for current warmongering be put into immediate use by fishermen all over the world, and let them use it to provide use with more fish and corals. After all, the use of coral reef species should not be used up just so some countries get a bunch of aphrodisiacs and continue to overpopulate the world.

April Fools!!

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The Many Advantages of Blast Fishing by Eric Borneman -