Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Fisheries

I spent the afternoon down by the bay where the fisherman dock their boats. It is just a short walk from the primary school I work at so after the children were let out I walked down the road. I came to find a blue marlin laying near the water waiting to be cut and weighed. I watched the Dominican with the cutlass clean out the humongous fish. The belly was cut open and I could see him pull out the different organs such as intestines and lungs. Next was the head and he worked his way down cutting the fish into pieces. The fish ended up weighing 228lbs with a beak reaching 24 inches. Everyone had gathered around, fishermen and village people alike. After the seagulls had begun to swarm a young man started throwing the scraps into the sky - the seagulls began diving down and catching them mid air.
Catching these huge fish is quite a days work. Dominican fishermen do not use fishing poles, and I quote " it takes too much time to use a pole, when you real in a fish you're only bringing it in centimeters at a time, but with our hands we pull it in yards at a time". They hold the line right in their hands and for the bigger fish wear gloves when pulling it in. When the fish get well over 500lbs the method is not to kill the fish right away because the fish actually helps the fishermen bring it into the boat. As the fish is coming out of the water it's back fin is flapping and swimming and assisting itself into the boat. Bringing in fish this size can take up to 2 hours from catch to safely in the little fishing boat.

I am proud to say there is a nice steak of blue marlin chillin' in my freezer.

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