Effects of some destructive fishing methods on coral cover and potential rates of recovery

John W. Mcmanus, Rodolfo B. Reyes, Cleto L. Nañola

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Effects of fishing with explosives (blastfishing) and sodium cyanide and of anchor damage on live coral were investigated on a heavily exploited fringing reef in Bolinao, Philippines from 1987 to 1990. A simple balance- sheet model indicated that approximately 1.4%/yr of the hermatypic coral cover may have been lost to blasting, 0 4%/yr to cyanide, and 0.03%/yr to coral-grabbing anchors, the potential coral recovery rate reduced by about one third from 3 8%/yr in the absence of disturbances to 2 4%/yr. These figures are subject to considerable uncertainty due to compounding of errors during computation. Reefs with patchy coral cover are more susceptible to damage from blastfishing because of targeting by fishers. Reefs with smaller corals may have greater resilience, because each unit of radial colony growth contributes a greater per cent increase in areal cover. Blastfishing in particular may reduce resilience to natural perturbations, leading to assemblages of small, sparse corals and reduced patchiness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Blastfishing
  • Coastal management
  • Coral
  • Coral reef
  • Cyanide
  • Destructive fishing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of some destructive fishing methods on coral cover and potential rates of recovery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this