Filipino fish collector (photo 14A) [66k]

Young Filipino boys are frequently spotted diving near the Capones with catch bags. This boy is in about 70 feet of water, breathing from a tube held in the corner of his mouth (another boy similarly equipped with homemade fins and goggles was nearby). A banca on the surface continuously pumps fresh air through the hose from an old refrigerator-type compressor powered by a car battery. In his possession are a net, catch bag, and squirt bottle with cyanide, used for immobilizing uncooperative fish. This method also makes the fish much weaker and less likely to survive the flight to an overseas market (where most fish are sold). The worst result of this technique is the widespread killing of all the corals that come into contact with the squirt-bottle solution, an effect that has taken a terrible toll on Philippine reefs, along with other destructive fishing techniques and pollution from soil erosion and pesticides.

related link: cyanide fishing page from CORAL (the Coral Reef Alliance)

back to Gallery II