Sunday, 25 March 2012

The fisherman

It was interesting to watch the Essaouira fishermen bringing in the catch. It was largely sardines. I think they had been caught in nets which people were mending on the quay but there were also lines of lines with hooks like mackerel lines being untangled and folded; like any Cornish village in the 50s. The method of getting the sardines from the bottom of the boat onto the quay to be sold was interesting. As with most things in Morocco it was entirely manual, labour intensive and backbreakingly hard work.
One man stood in the bottom of the boat, another partway up the steps and one on the quay. A small plastic basket of the sort one buys at the pound shop to tidy up bathroom ephemera was used to scoop up about a kilo of sardines, perhaps less. This was thrown to the second guy who passed it to the one on the quay who emptied it into a box of ice and threw it back down. The process was repeated ad infinitem. Other people scurried about bringing fresh ice and removing full boxes and selling the fish to punters.

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