ShotSpotter has two environmental initiatives which have shown great technical promise – protecting rhinos in Africa from poaching and locating fish bomb blasts in the tropics. The poaching initiative will be discussed in another blog while protecting tropical reefs and communities from Blast Fishing is discussed here.
Blast Fishing, scarcely known in Europe and North America, is a pernicious practice threatening a majority of tropical reefs and the food supply of a billion people. Fish blasters take advantage of the efficiency bombing above reef areas contrasted to traditional methods of netting or spearing. But by bombing over the reefs they destroy the reefs and hence the homes of the fish, which takes years to recover. The text and figures and videos below give examples of this worldwide scourge.
ShotSpotter researchers have been working for six years with the international environmental coalition Stop Fish Bombing (www.StopFishBombing.org). Our aim is to provide the necessary blast location capability to enable marine law enforcement to intercept the illegal blasters. In coordination with legal and social reforms, timely reporting of blast locations to law enforcement can help prevent blast fishing.
This map shows one of the most concentrated regions of damage located in the Coral Triangle area of SE Asia. Note that the northern portion of Borneo is in a severely impacted area, and that is where ShotSpotter and the Stop Fish Bombing group have done our testing. The area is peppered with small villages that have been threatened by the illegal bombers. In some cases, they are used as local labor to gather bombed fish, in others the bombers simply take over a village, plundering whatever they want. There is also an industrial angle, as the capability to fill a mothership with hundreds of pounds of fish during a weeklong fishing expedition becomes attractive on a larger scale.
This 3-minute movie from United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) illustrates blast fishing in the Philippines.
March 16, 2018 By: Dr. Robert Showen, Founder of ShotSpotter, Inc. and Clark Dunson, Senior Engineer, Sensor Systems
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ShotSpotter, Inc. is the global leader in gunfire detection and location technology providing the most trusted, scalable and reliable gunfire alert and analysis solutions available today.