The illegal dynamite fishing season runs from February to the
end of July. "This is 'harvest' time for galong gong," says
Dado. Galong Gong, he explains, are small sardine-like fish
known locally as G-G (pronounced gee-gee). The village of
Pagdalagan, often called G-G City, is harvest headquarters. On
the beach in front of G-G City the fishermen bait their traps.
These traps have no walls or bars - they are simply palm fronds
tied at five foot intervals along a piece of rope.
The fishermen set the traps five miles offshore, anchoring one
end with a large rock and marking the other with a bamboo pole
carrying the identification of the owner. With the lower five
chambers punctured the bamboo floats upright. Beneath the
surface the palm fronds float horizontally, providing shade and
shelter for the G-G. In seven days it will be harvest time -
By some estimates already 90 percent of coral in Philippine
waters has been destroyed, and with the coral, the heritage of
future generations. The present Philippine administration
claims that protection of the environment is a high priority -
most town have signs denouncing illegal logging, cyanide and
dynamite fishing. Still, it's one thing to legislate, but quite
another to act. The coastguard has the authority to intervene,
but it has few facilities and even less incentive - after all,
the fishermen are often family.
One thing is certain - the solution, whatever it is, will be a
long time coming. In the meantime, the fishermen will put to
sea in their bancas hoping that today's catch will provide
their families with food and clothing tomorrow.