Tangled Web

Across Africa, more and more people are using antimalarial mosquito nets to catch fish—an ecologically dicey endeavor.

January 27, 2015

“Nobody in his hut, including his seven children, sleeps under a net at night. Instead, Mr. Ndefi has taken his family’s supply of anti-malaria nets and sewn them together into a gigantic sieve that he uses to drag the bottom of the swamp ponds, sweeping up all sorts of life: baby catfish, banded tilapia, tiny mouthbrooders, orange fish eggs, water bugs and the occasional green frog. ‘I know it’s not right,’ Mr. Ndefi said, ‘but without these nets, we wouldn’t eat.’”

—From “Meant to Keep Malaria Out, Mosquito Nets Are Used to Haul Fish In,” Jeffrey Gettleman’s New York Times story about how the practice could imperil already stressed fish populations (an important food source for people and wildlife alike)


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