The Fishermen of Funafuti

About half of the atoll is a marine sanctuary. The other half is fair game for boat loads of harvesters in brightly painted skiffs and canoes.

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A typical skiff will load up about 10 guys and come buzzing by Khamseen to check us out and wave. The snorkelers bail off and head to the shallows, where we think they’re looking for sea cucumbers for the Asian export market.

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Meanwhile the very fit skiff operator waits offshore, getting hotter and hotter.

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Finally he jumps in to cool down.

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There is a wide range in the fitness levels and fishing techniques of Tuvalan watermen.

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Lone paddlers stalk the shallows off the village beach. 

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We saw the glass balls of a traditional net fishery…

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and warning signs discouraging the heavy handed approach we recognized from the chicken curry.

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08°30.55′S 179°11.00′E 26-May-11 22:30 UTC

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