23 October 2009
This day was a walk down memory lane. Eight years ago, when we were finalizing our shoot for our book Sulu Sulawesi Seas for WWF, we spent five midnights to mornings with the funae fishermen of Bunaken Island.
Their hard work started when they bought live anchovies in Tanawango in mainland Manado at midnight. When there were no anchovies to buy, they would catch their own live bait. The funae boat has a huge aquarium inside the boat’s main belly to keep the live bait. Later on this belly would be the holding area for their day’s catch.
Then, before sunrise, they would steam two to three hours to a rakit – a 2 x 2 meter floating pontoon manned by one person, which is a fish attracting devise or FAD, 40 to 60 kilometers away from the mainland in the open ocean. Some rakit would be farther still, you could hardly see Manado Tua on the horizon!
Out at sea with nothing but the lamps light to illuminate the water, skipjacks gather around the palm fronds at 16 meters.
And before sunrise, the funae fishermen will be hard at work fishing!