Feb 23, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s coastal fisheries and coral reefs are being destroyed by a rapid rise in dynamite blasted ‘fishing’, with the lucrative practice now exploding into an organized crime involving big money, officials said. . Dyanamite fishing is a destructive way of killing fish by setting off explosives underwater so that the resulting shock waves kill fish in a vast surrounding area.
Though first started by some fishermen in isolated areas a few decades ago, the practice is now being bank-rolled by a rapidly growing mafia from outside the traditional fisher community.
Traditional fishermen and officials say the ‘dynamite mafia’ has now perfected a system which they put into practice with assembly line precision.
Underwater photos obtained by LBO from an eyewitness, shows the entire crime sequence in action.
First, a small boat goes over a fishing ground unobtrusively dropping primed sticks of dynamite.
Sometime later a second boat comes and drops scuba divers nearby who stealthily start collecting the dead fish in gunny bags.
A boat then comes again to pick up the gunny bags.