Conservation Photography, News, Photo Blog

Fishermen catching bait for tuna fisheries

Fisherman catsing bait for tune industry

Apart from ordinary photography, I have been working on conservation photography for a few decades.

On my trip with Global Finprint in the Maldives we sailed through several atolls, and when diving on one of the most beautiful reefs we had seen during our trip, we saw a fishing boat. The crew had tires around their bodies and dragged a large net back to their ship. I got curious: what were they doing?

I signalled to my buddies, all scientists, that I wanted to go there. Sometimes you just have to completely change your dive and photo plan. I swam towards the boat to take a backlight shot from a depth of 15 meters. It is important to avoid the sun as much as possible because the sun usually provides a good glow if you look directly at it with the camera.

Because of my depth and angle, the fishermen and the fishing net are clearly visible. I used a fixed F/stop here and put the shutter speed on automatic.

These baitfishing practices are for an MSC certified pole fishing industry. Unfortunately, the bait fishing itself is not certified, and further research is needed. I can only say, that we saw many deterioriating reefs, that were totally fished out – just the small blue triggerfish were left, and these cannot be used as bait. Check out my blog on this here:

Is the tuna pole fishing really that sustainable?

Photo data:

  • 1/500 sec
  • F/11
  • ISO 800
  • Camera: Nikon D700
  • Lens: Nikon 16mm fisheye
  • Sealux underwaterhousing

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