Have you ever noticed how close happiness and sadness can be together? Bangka Island is a small and remote island with beautiful coral reefs and the most amazing under water life. But sometimes you get tears in your eyes when you see patches of completely destroyed coral reefs. Unfortunately people used dynamite for fishing reef fish in the past. The dynamite fishing is a easy way to fish. Throw dynamite in the water, and when it explodes all dead fish will surface. You just have to scoop the fish out of the water. But what the fishermen don’t see, is that the dynamite also kills all the corals and without corals there won’t be fish. It takes decades for corals to regrow, and for the fish to return. It is a very destructive and unsustainable way of fishing: one catch and the rest of your life, no more fish will live in this area. The practice is not being used in this area any more, but dynamite fishing is still done in other places. Suara Pulau Foundation asked us to assist them for two months to restore the damaged part of the reef.
Here a good video about dynamite fishing from National Geographic:
Bangka island is really small and remote, there are no cars, no ATM’s and no 7-eleven’s. We are staying at Mimpi Indah Resort, build between the forest and the ocean. The place to work behind the computer is a little bit different from ours on Koh Tao. On Koh Tao there is high speed internet every where. Here is slow and depending on the weather. We will be less online for instance on social media and email.
This is the new workspace at Bangka Island. The one we used last year is in use for the purpose it was designed for. Samati, the man with the golden hands, is rebuilding one of the Mimpi Indah boats. The first materials for the restoration of the reef are delivered. We have started to create the dugong structure.