Ending the use of SCUBA for commercial fishing in Honduras has been an ongoing problem. Inadequate and poorly maintained dive equipment and a lack training that leads to divers far exceeding safe diving limits. Repetitive diving in this way can cause serious injury as nitrogen gas that builds up in the blood forms bubbles, restricting blood supply to joints or vital organs.
Each fishing season one in every fifteen divers is likely to suffer a dive accident. Accidents can result in partial or totally paralysis. Around twenty of the accidents a year are fatal. The cumulative impact of this fishery means that in the rural communities where the divers are recruited an estimated 18% of the working age population of men are now permanently disabled because of SCUBA dive fishing.
Amid mounting concern of the social cost of this fishery a regional fisheries management agreement for Central America agreed to phase out the use of SCUBA by July 2013. However, national legislation in Honduras has not been passed to implement this closure.