The use of explosives to catch fish has caused extensive damage to coral reefs throughout Southeast Asia, but the frequency with which they are used is largely unknown. The aim of this work is to develop a detection system capable of distinguishing underwater explosions from background noise, and locating their origin by triangulation. Blast signals have been recorded over a range of distances and the key features that differentiate them from background noise have been determined. For small charges the effective range of such a detector is more than 12 km and may extend up to 50 km depending on the mass of the charges being used. Such a system would help to determine the scale of the problem, identify areas at greatest risk and quantify the effectiveness of management intervention designed to control destructive fishing practices. It may assist with fisheries enforcement in some areas.
Click here for the full paper.