Automated Blast Fishing Detector

Nokome Bentley nbentley at
Sun Dec 13 16:22:18 EST 1998

Hi All,

Regarding the development of automatic acoustic recorders for detecting blast fishing.  This idea also 'struck' me a couple of years ago when I heard my first blast fishing bomb underwater.  After discussions with electronic engineers and marine acoustic experts I wrote a proposal to develop such devices but dissapointingly found no funding success with conservation or development agencies active in coral reef conservation.  There are obvious attractions to such a system but it seems that no one is willing to fund such a project until the technology is proven.  

This year I have coordinated with the Electronics and Communications Design Centre at Massey University, New Zealand to develop some recorder prototypes.  We now have a prototype for the electronic hardware and are developing the software necessary for calibration and recording.  If we can obtain funding then we hope to be able to have an array of recorders ready for testing by the middle of next year.

For more information on this project see our web site at

Nokome Bentley

 Trophia Research and Consulting

 PO Box 60					
 New Zealand

 Ph:   + 64 3 319 6850.  Fax: + 64 3 319 6850

-----Original Message-----
From:	Gregor Hodgson [SMTP:rcgregor at]
Sent:	Tuesday, December 08, 1998 10:10 PM
To:	coral-list at
Cc:	George Woodman
Subject:	Automated Blast Fishing Detector

A group here in HK is interested in designing an automated blast-fishing
detector. While we can all see and hear blasts when on the beach or
diving -- there is not a lot of info as to frequency. Even in areas
where blast fishing is common, it is difficult to know how much blast
fishing is going over the medium scale of 10s of square kilometers. The
concept is that an unmanned automated sound detector and direction
finder might be useful to law enforcement agencies who could use
evidence of a high frequency of blast fishing activities to justify
diversion of resources to more monitoring and enforcement.

If you have information about any hydrophone recordings of dynamite or
ammonium nitrate bombs, inexpensive off the shelf hydrophones, or
attempts to build such automated sensors, could you please send the
information to Mr. George Woodman at <george at>

Thank you for your help.
Gregor Hodgson, PhD
Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2358-8568    Fax (852) 2358-1582
Email: <rcgregor at>
Reef Check:

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