Nowadays, we spend lots and lots of money buying the latest fishing gear that boasts of the best features, but the truth is that having the best kit is not necessary when it comes to fishing. Sure, it feels good, but it is not an absolute must. All you need is a few good friends, one simple net and little bit of expertise in recognizing goods spots. And maybe, a bit of hunger in the stomach!
The above lesson stared us in the face when we reached the Pristine Seas Expedition in Seychelles, in order to film and understand the diversity and abundance of underwater life. In the scene, we found that the local communities used age-old methods of fishing that are highly sustainable.
For instance, to catch fresh mackerel at Beau Vallon, they used netting of beach seine variety – a method that is simple, sustainable, as well as profitable.
As voices.nationalgeographic.com wrote:
We have been beach seine netting since the Stone Age and after eleven thousand years the only thing that has changed is that the nets are now made from lightweight nylon rather than flax, grass, and root fibers.
The technique is exactly the same. As we watched, an ancient tradition continued before our eyes. The pirogue was heaved into the surf, rowed 100 yards out and then parallel to the beach until instinct and experience told them where to drop the seaward central part of the net. Ropes fastened to each end of the net were then brought ashore about 200 yards apart. Three men held each rope and facing the sea they love, they began a rhythmic, steady, powerful pull. It’s a big net dragging a lot of water combined with the weight of the catch so only the relentless pressure of this pull can bring the net in.
As the net, still under the waves, came closer to shore, the fishermen moved closer together. With all the fish jumping at the surface it was clear they had a big catch. Soon the net emerged and was slowly dragged up the beach full of wonderful mackerel.
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