Monday, December 3, 2012

Kenya : Gone Fishin !

Captain Abdul Aziz, fishing in the Indian Ocean, note the t shirt 

I thought I would make a short film about a fisherman called Captain Abdul Aziz who operates off the Tiwi beeches just south of Mombasa. The idea was to try and make a film that was not a few clips with music. It was a great day. Starting at 6:30 we met along the beech and headed out into the Indian ocean to check nets and lay pots. A hard start to the day when we had to swim out and get the boat the Captain offered to bring the boat in and collect me but no I tried to be the man and swam out with him although it turned out to be a very long way and I somehwhat regretted my ego although no harm done and the boat was reached.  Once all the gear was collected we headed out past the reef and out into a little more swell. The boat was small and should there be any safety issues then you where down to swimming back as the only option. The first job was to drop the lobster pots and then head for the nets. The nets of which he has one as they are expensive are arund 30 metres in length held down with rocks and held up with empty fuel cans. A slow but very productive pulling up of the net produced all sorts from bright yellow lemon fish, Sargent fish, Red Snappers and Puffer Fish. Once all that was done it was all put back in place and we headed back to shore. Having a look at where he lived it was essentially a straw hut under the mango and palm trees lining the beech. Although it sounds nice its very poor but he is in a good position compared to many. We had some time chatting to the camera and asking various things and the main issue seemed to be that the fish where getting less. The main reason for this of which an example appeared on the horizon almost as we spoke was large fishing boats. He explained how the main line of preserving the fish which he had learned when just a boy was to fish one area and allow other areas to grow before fishing them and letting the previous ones grow back. He was very concious that he needed to conserve the environment that gave him his living. The boats though which appeared on the horizon where more like tankers which is what I thought at first. There where two with a net between of nearly 40 miles wide dragging it close to the coast and then meeting 50 miles or so down the coast and coming together and reeling the nets in. Abdul cannot compete with that and to add insult to injury has to go out and clean and pick up the waste they throw over the side. These boats where also not Kenyan but from another area in the ‘far east’ mentioning no names. A good day and when home I shall get the footage arranged and get the film up.