Blast fishing in Tanzania is now more widespread than at any time in its history. Home-made plastic bottle bombs are easily filled with fertilizer, petrol, detonator caps and explosive gel. They’ve replaced the harder to obtain sticks of dynamite.

Fishermen are well aware of the detrimental effects of 20 to 50 blasts a day on underwater reefs. Each explosion reduces several square meters of coral to rubble while obliterating all marine life within 20 meters. Conservationists say it’s like killing the forests and the elephants at the same time.

Locals say poverty and easy money drives the practice, but they know they are merely pawns of greedy fish buyers and sellers of explosives. The government has launched a campaign to stop the damaging practice. Will Tanzanian Marine Patrol officers stop the ecological damage before it’s too late?

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