Perhaps the most dangerous fishing method of all, compressor diving is known in the Philippines as ‘Pa-aling’ diving
There are virtually no safety measures on pa-aling fishing vessels and hardly any real understanding of what causes the bends, so divers will often spend far too long at depth without taking safety stops on the way back up. These thin tubes are their only lifeline – but they can also be a death sentence if too many nitrogen bubbles build up.
The smallest tear or even kink in the hose can cause death
Plastic air hoses connect to a rusty compressor onboard the fishing boat at surface as the diver is working on the skipjack tuna fishing net. Fatal injuries and deaths occur regularly. The most common cause of death from ‘Pa-aling’ diving is due to decompression illness, otherwise known as ‘the bends’. Dangerous fishing methods such as ‘Pa-aling’ are a major contributor to the overfishing crisis in and around the Philippines.
Up to 100 divers supported by four boats – will go down together, corralling fish – usually tuna – into huge nets. They breath regular air pumped down from the surface by an old on board engine. Decades old engines are the only things keeping the divers alive, pumping air down from the surface.