Monday, March 19, 2018

Fresh from the Sea

Came across some fishermen reeling in one of those huge fishing nets ashore. In Sinhalese these are called "මාදැල්" (maadal). It's tiring work, and I think it takes more than 3 hours to drag the whole thing in.

There was a reasonable harvest as well, enough to fill up several big baskets. Most of the catch were small fish like Sardinella (සාලයා), Ponyfish (කාරල්ලා), young Trevally (පරා), Indian Mackerel (කුම්බලා), and some other species which I'm not familiar with. There were two huge fish caught as well.

Once all the fish are gathered, the fishermen took it to the side of the road and sold it off then and there. More than half of it was gone within a few minutes.

The entire process of catching fish like this is a tiring, and time consuming process. They have to take the net by boat into sea and lay it out the night before, and in the morning reel it back in. The boats are small out rigger canoes enough to fit two people, and constantly jostled by the waves. The whole thing is a team effort. You need at least 10 people to reel the net in. The more people there is, the quicker the process, but more dividend to give out.

Take a little time to appreciate all the ground level people who contribute to the process of keeping us off starvation. The farmers, fisher folk and others involved in agriculture. As a nation, we should be independent and self sufficient in agriculture and food. At least enough to keep all the people without starving in case something happens. Believe me, nobody is going to give us free food just because we have a huge import account with them.

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