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History of blast fishing
By Chozin Muhammad

The history of blast fishing in the Spermonde archipelago cannot be separated from the history of blast fishing in Southeast Asia, from which it is originated. In Southeast Asia, blast fishing was practiced during the colonial era in the late 19th century, before nation states in Southeast Asia were formed. Evidence shows the use of dynamite to catch fish in Southeast Asia has started in the 1900s. For example, from 1907 to 1910, the Philippine expedition of the USA Bureau of Fisheries used explosives to gather underwater samples, including fish (Sievert 1999).

In addition, fishermen used dynamite stolen from railway construction projects in East Java to catch fish such as Sardinella in Bali, Indonesia. There is also evidence that in the 1930s the Japanese used blast fishing in Southeast Asia waters. During the 1940's, blast fishing was widely practiced among Filipino fishermen who paid a high fee to the municipal authorities (Butcher 2004. p. 163). After that, blast fishing has spread throughout South Asian waters, including Indonesia and Malaysia.

Recently, the practice has continued, shifting from dynamite to fertilizer bombs. Fishermen put fertilizer-petroleum oil mix into a bottle and ignite it with small detonator cap to make a bomb.  

2011 Chozin Muhammad

In this section:

History of blast fishing:
Colonial era
After Indonesian independence
Contemporary practices

Also in this section :

Social Relationships on Balobaloang

Patron-client relationship in blast fishing groups
Life of a young juragang
Life of a sawi

Religious and cultural values of blast fishermen

The role of women in blast fishing

The relationship between blast fishermen and other fishermen




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