PROFAUNA: Fish-bombing Still Persist in Berau

Samarinda (ANTARA Kaltim) - PROFAUNA, a globally-networked organization working for the protection of wildlife and its habitat, found that fish-bombing still persists in the waters of Berau regency.

"Our investigation revealed that fish-bombing still happens in many places across Berau, particularly in Batu Putih district," said Bayu Sandi, the coordinator of PROFAUNA Borneo, on Thursday.

Bayu Sandi further explained that during January-May 2016, PROFAUNA found two dead sea turtles which were victims of fish-bombing.

"In January, we found a sea turtle killed by the fish bomb. In March we found another one. Both were the Green Turtle," added him. "Fish-bombing is just the tip of an iceberg. Therefore, it is very likely that there are a lot more unaccounted sea turtles killed by fish-bombing. We hope that there is an immediate and serious response from the concerning parties to stop fish-bombing."

Several fishermen said that the bombs' materials were generally bought from Malaysia, though some parts are also available in Sulawesi. They also said that fish-bombing is not exclusive to Berau or East Borneo, as fishermen in other places are doing the same thing.

"They usually work in groups, consisting of three to five boats. They even bring firearms, which makes it difficult for us to stall them. From fishermen who used to bomb fish, we know that the ammonium nitrate bomb was made from materials bought in Malaysia or Sulawesi," explained Bayu Sandi.

The fish-bombing activities are bothering the local fishermen, as their catch is decreasing fast.  Not only it destroys the ecosystem, fish-bombing also harms the people as there are people who got injured by the bombs.

"Traditional fishermen are complaining about the negative impacts of the bombs, and they have even reported it to the concerning authorities. So far, there seems to be no change to the situation. We expect the government to pay serious attention before it cause worse damage to the environment, especially the sensitive marine ecosystem," said Bayu Sandi.

PROFAUNA Borneo will continue to educate the community, so that they would not eat fishes that are caught using bombs. PROFAUNA partners with the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Service of Berau and a local group called Konservasi Biota Laut Berau to promote environment-friendly fishing means and to inform the community not to eat bombed fish.

Editor: Amirullah, Source: ANTARA

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ProFauna Indonesia is an Indonesian society for the protection of
wild animals and their habitats