Summary on Caribbean Cyanide Fishing
sobelj%dccmc at cenmarine.com
sobelj%dccmc at cenmarine.com
Thu Nov 13 20:13:45 EST 1997
Below is a copy of a question I posted on the list-serve for information
on Cyanide-fishing in the Caribbean and a summary of about a dozen
responses I received . I'm posting the summary in response to several
requests I received to share this information. Thanks to all who
responded with input. Jack Sobel, Center for Marine Conservation.
At 08:26 PM 11/7/97 -0500, I wrote:
>I received a request for information on cyanide-fishing in the Caribbean
>from the World Bank. I indicated that this was not a serious problem in
>the Caribbean, especially compared to the more serious problems of
>over-fishing. However, they are still interested in signs of cyanide
>fishing in the Caribbean. Was I correct that this is not a major
>in the region? Does anyone have any information on this? Thanks! Jack
1. I am not aware of any cyanide-fishing in PR. We do have a serious
over-fishing problem. Also, we have many tropical fish collectors
operating with no rules or regulations (mostly quineldine as far as
I know). I cannot seem to get DNER interested in this problem, even
tho we advise them. There is some use of chlorox on the reefs in
holes to drive octopus out of hiding.
I hope this is of use.
Ernest H. Williams, Jr.
Department of Marine Sciences
University of Puerto Rico
P.O. Box 908
Lajas, PR 00667-0908
phone (787) 899-2048 x 264
home phone (787) 892-1746
2. Jack, I have never heard of cyanide fishing in the Caribbean.
quinaldinene for the collection of tropicals. I heard of some use of
Hope this helps, billy causey
3. You are right that it is not a serious problem, especially compared
Pacific. Nonetheless, there are occasional reports. I assume you have
checked reefbase on this. If not, I think the latest version has a map
shows all areas that have been cyanided.
Hope this is useful.
4. Dear Jack -
I can only speak for the British Virgin Islands, but our situation there
is that no cyanide fishing has been observed at all. There has bee a
small amount of trouble with bleach fishing, esp. for lobsters.
5. As far as I am aware, cyanide fishing is not an issue in Puerto Rico.
There is, however, evidence of quinaldine use by some ornamental fish
collectors. If anyone has indications of cyanide use, I would appreciate
it if they would share it with me!
Craig G. Lilyestrom, Ph.D.
Chief, Fisheries Division
Department of Natural and Environmental Resources
P.O. Box 9066600
Puerta de Tierra, P.R. 00906-6600
(787) 725-8619, FAX: 723-2805
6. Out of 50 Caribbean sites surveyed for Reef Check 2 reports of poison
fishing were given. One for Columbia and one for Florida. Our sites were
biased with about 20 from Florida Keys so they are not representative of
what may be happening elsewhere.
However, cyanide is used to catch live fish to market in Asia -- thus
there may be a marketing problem with unfamiliar fish, not to mention
distance (cost) for export, that could be an impediment to Chinese
buyers working the Caribbean. For more info on Reef Check see the URL.
In return for this info, pls send me anything you find on commercial
harvest of sea cucumbers in the Caribbean. I have not been able to find
Gregor Hodgson, PhD
Institute for the Environment and Sustainable Development
Research Centre, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Clearwater Bay, Kowloon, HONG KONG
e-mail: rcgregor at usthk.ust.hk
tel: (852) 2358-8568 fax: (852) 2358-1582
Reef Check: http://www.ust.hk/~webrc/ReefCheck/reef.html
7. Jack, I have never heard of a serious cyanide problem anywhere in the
islands. I once heard a rumor of this going on in Belize, but
unsubstantiated. Jack Carter might know.
Boston University Marine Program
Department of Biology
5 Cummington Street
Boston, MA 02215
e-mail: lesk at bio.bu.edu
8. Hi Jack,
That's my perception. Cheers.
John C. Ogden Director Phone: 813/553-1100
Florida Institute of Oceanography Fax: 813/553-1109
830 First Street South St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
9. Jack, I am not aware that it is a problem, but I suggest you contact
or other colleagues in the fish game. The current meeting of GCFI in
would be the place to find out? Hope you are there.
Robert N. Ginsburg, Professor of Marine Geology, Rosenstiel School of
Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami.
Mail: University of Miami, RSMAS-MGG, 4600 Rickenbacker Cswy., Miami, FL
Phone: (305) 361-4875 FAX: (305) 361-4094 rginsburg at rsmas.miami.edu
10. Jack: I've been studying reef problems in the Caribbean for several
and have never yet encountered a case of cyanide fishing. Just about
everything else.... but not cyanide.
You were correct in your statements to the WB.
UC Berkeley Dept. Geography
11. Hi Jack, Ocean Voice International has been working on alternatives
collection of ornamental fishes since 1989 in the Philippines and kept
our ears open about its use elsewhere. We have never had any solid
evidence of its use in the Caribbean. Evidence of its use in southeast
Asia, on the other hand is soundly based, e.g. Philippines, Indonesia,
Malaysia, Taiwan, etc.
Don E. McAllister /& Canadian Centre for Biodiversity
Ocean Voice International /Canadian Museum of Nature
Box 37026, 3332 McCarthy Rd. /Box 3443, Station D
Ottawa, ON K1V 0W0, Canada /Ottawa, ON K1P 6P4
URL: http://www.ovi.ca E-mail: mcall at superaje.com
(or: ah194 at freenet.carleton.ca) Tel: (613) 264-8986, Fax: (613)
12. Sorry, I don't have the information you're looking for, but would be
interested in the responses you get. Could you forward them, please?
Osha Gray Davidson
14 S. Governor St.
Iowa City, IA 52240
PH: (319) 338-4778
FAX: (319) 338-8606
e-mail: osha at pobox.com
Scholar Associate, International Programs, University of Iowa
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