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Cyanide Fishing in the Coral Triangle (Photos)

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A big issue in Oceania's Coral Triangle at the moment is cyanide fishing.

Driven largely by China's insatiable appetite for live reef fish, children as young as ten are routinely diving to depths of 30/40 meters, breathing air that is pumped down to them through a hose, and paralyzing fish using a lethal mixture of potassium cyanide.

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The use of cyanide is crippling precious coral ecosystems whilst the associated use of compressors is crippling its practitioners.

Decompression sickness (the bends) and compressor-related accidents are commonly cited as being the primary cause of premature death in marine communities throughout the Coral Triangle.

Potassium cyanide is squirted directly at target fish species such as grouper or Napoleon wrasse, paralyzing them and enabling them to be collected alive. The cyanide then gets in to currents and will travel for miles along a reef wall, killing coral and wreaking havoc on marine life.

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