Modelling the effects of destructive fishing practices on tropical coral reefs

S. B. Saila, V. L. Kocic, J. W. McManus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Review of the use of underwater explosives indicated that the largest lethal zone for swimbladder fishes is located near the surface of the water. Mortality in this zone is due to rupture of the swimbladder from negative pressure induced by cavitation of the near-surface water volume from a subsurface explosion. For blast fishing in the Philippines, valuable pelagic species rather than typical coral reef species were the primary targets. Results of a simulation model indicated that the sum of all current destructive practices was sufficient to continue less of diversity and loss of live coral cover for c25 yr before any recovery was expected. A reduction in the rate of destructive fishing to c30% of the current level would permit continuing slow recovery of both diversity and live coral cover. This might best be accomplished by attempting to eliminate the use of poisons (such as cyanide) in reef areas and reducing anchor damage in addition to reducing blast fishing in coral areas. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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