It has been reported that several fishermen in the south of Mauritius have adopted unethical means to catch fish in rivers: they spray the water with insecticides, and, some time later, they pick dozens of dead fish in their nets. While they might rejoice over their big-catch-in-no-time, they are leaving behind in the waterways harmful concentrations of pollutants to find their way to other environments, endangering ecosystems and human health.
Note: Photo is not about the poisoned fished and is used only to complement this article
Some people would do whatever it takes to get what they want; by hook or by crook, some fishermen would get their bounty onto their fish hook. This is the mindset that is reflected in the practice of some fishermen in the south of the island, whereby they catch fish by spraying insecticides in the water. As they say, some people will stop at nothing just to lay their hands on the object of their desire, whether others are harmed or not.
A study led by the U.S Geological Survey showed that pesticide residues in water can have potentially harmful effects on health in both the short and long terms. Faced with this situation, the authorities claim to be powerless.
Fishing is not an easy job: patience is one of the qualities needed to manage the task efficiently. Well, what happens if some lack the patience required? What happens when some lack the expertise to carry out the job within the normal parameters? That is when people start to devise ways to reap benefits without evaluating the consequences of their deeds. The unethical fishermen just have to throw into the water doses of insecticides, and that’s it; work done, fish dead and into the pockets of the fishermen!
They use approximately 10 milliliters of potent insecticide to catch considerable amounts of fish and other edible aquatic flesh, like shrimps.
The fishermen adhering to this easy practice admit that it is quite common for many others to adopt this ‘fishing style’.
They wind up at river beds, throw in insecticides, catch their fish – as simple as that – while leaving behind their doses of pollutants which follow the course of the waterflow, reaching other environments, thereby endangering health of people and environment damage.
The Ministry of the Environment purports that it is difficult for their officials to keep such practices under control; this is why they rely heavily on the public to denounce these activities. They insist that members of the public should call the police immediately in case they witness such acts. The ministry as such can only act if an official complaint has been issued.