Drawing nets 8

Nets are drawn up by hand along the side of the boat. It is very strenuous and tiring work that can take up to 60 to 90 minutes per net. Often the nets catch on rocks and are broken free only through the use of intense pulling by the team or through the assistance of the outboard motor. Bottom nets get tangled very easily and often contain a lot of debris that must be cleaned out as the net is pulled into the boat. It was imperative to get the fish out during the summer months as, if the fish died in the net, it would rot due to the warm water temperatures. Obviously, this would reduce the value of the catch.

Once during an early morning run, I was making notes of the types of fish being taken out of the net and I had my nose buried in my notebook. I look up briefly due to a verbal commotion by the fishermen and they had jumped to either end of the boat, leaving me sitting in the middle, next to a sea snake! Fortunately, it was tangled in the net. We carefully shook it out over board!