Friday, November 14, 2014

Net fishing

San Clemente, San Jacinto and Crucita are all working fishing villages, one can see the fishing boats "docked" on the shore or the roads across from the Malecon, when not in the water. What one doesn't see until one lives here are the net fishing, I tried looking up net fishing ecuador, but didn't get much info, so I'll just report on what I've seen.

As far as I can tell, the net is set out by the boats, and the men on shore pull it, scooping the fish into the net as it moves thru the water. There are five to eight men working one tether, and each net has two tethers. The men have belts that they tie the tether on to, for precaution, they all work together, like tug o' war, pulling the rope, and at the same time moving to the left or right. In the above pictures, they have come to our side street, and are pulling, pulling, pulling until they move down the road to the next side street. When the tide is low, they do all this from the shore, but as you can see, there is no beach at this particular moment.

They pull, step back, pull step back, then the one on the end unties  the tether, drops it, then moves to the front, and it continues. There are many ropes tied together to makes this tether, and when one rope is no longer needed they untie that length and store it, you can see the pile of rope on the street, and also note they are all barefoot. ( barefoot on sand, but barefoot on the road?) They continued to pull and move the net down the coast, probably half mile til they had low enough tide and beach to stand on. Then the collection begins.

Here's another day, when the tide was low enough for them to be on the beach, the truck is waiting for them, it carries the fishermen from place to place, but also is ready to collect the bounty. You can see the boat, keeping things in order and that's a blur of pelicans waiting for a snack.

Above is one line of tether pullers, and the next photo is the other line of tether pullers.

Once the net gets to shore, they corral the fish into a smaller section of net and then collect them like the following picture. The net bags are then dumped into the back of the above truck, and locals will come to buy from the back of the truck. The truck driver is probably a "broker", taking the fish from the fishermen to market. He may take some of the fish to be cleaned, but the bulk are sold entero. The net pullers job is over, and sometimes they move on to another net, sometimes they do the loading into the truck.

Whenever you want to know where the fishermen are, look up and you'll see the swarm of frigate birds and pelicans. If there are tourists or kids around when the net comes ashore, the fishermen will let the kids have smaller fish to throw up into the air to watch the birds feed. A little too Hitchcock for my taste, but fun to watch from the safety of my porch.

I'm not sure if all the boats do this net pulling, maybe to supplement the other catch? I usually only see two or three net pullers a week, so everybody's not doing it...with time will come better spanish and I can ask questions.

I think that's it for today, we've made plans to go to the town with all the nurseries on Saturday, it's called Sosote, and on the way to Porto Viejo, so next week I'll post our findings. Excited to get some "houseplants" and some more things for the garden and our pots. Stay tuned, the adventure continues!

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