Danger of The Bends while diving for Lobster

This is a video from MSNBC on the “Dying and Disabled in Honduras, in pursuit of lobster to sell to U.S.” Hondurans have taken advantage of the U.S.’s large appetite for lobster and given the poor wages in Honduras the people can make a decent living off of capturing and selling them.

Unfortunately many of the divers don’t have proper equipment or training and end up getting the Bends while working. Most who get the Bends (or decompression sickness) end up dead or permanently disabled.

I don’t entirely agree with the video, they make it sound like American’s who provide the demand for the lobster are a larger part of the problem – calling it Economic Genocide. It’s true we are a small part of the problem but the larger problem stems from the lack of regulation or lack of care of the people involved. It wouldn’t take but a week to teach all the divers about the risks of decompression sickness and how to prevent it. The cost of the proper equipment is also small from a business standpoint – you don’t need brand new gear, just something that works. You can also reuse gear for multiple people.

Instead of working with the Honduran people to educate them, the government is going to put an end to the lobster diving within 2 years. How about a little education and safety enforcement? Then you can keep the jobs and the economic activity it creates.