The greatest advantage of dynamite fishing is that the fishermen no longer need to buy a net. Once the dynamite has killed all of the fish, they can easily scoop their catch manually. Nevertheless, the problem in using dynamite, is that not only is a huge number of fish killed...holes are also made in coral reefs. Some have a diameter of up to 5 meters. This is not good, for coral branches take 15 years to grow and a whole coral colony may take 30-50 years (McAllister & Ansula, 1993). Besides this, juveniles are killed and larvae destroyed.
In the Philippines, there are many people that sell dynamite sticks (illegally) at prices ranging from P40 to P50 per blast. According to surverys, ten percent of more than 700,000 municipal fishermen are hardcore explosive fishermen. Their tricks include “piggybacking” on the operations of commercial fishermen. By trailing the commercial fishers who use sophisticated equipment, the dynamite fishers are able to track down schools of fish which they blast away, before their commercial competitors can get at them with their bulky nets. Another technique of theirs is to employ local residents to gather the blasted fish. In areas protected by Bantay-Dagat teams, the fishermen explode and escape, allowing trusted local contacts to collect the dead fish. This arrangement, ensures that they do not have to deal directly with law enforcers.
To check for dynamited fish, one has to lift the operculum or the lid covering
the gills. Sometimes, the impact of the blast is so strong that even the
gills are liquefied or reduced to a mush. If the fish were killed by a weaker
blast checking would require a person to squeeze the abdomen. If
the innards ooze out of the pharynx in a liquefied or mushy state, then
chances are that the fish has been blasted.