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Fishing

Fishing plays a big part on the island of Barbados. There are over 2,000 regular fishermen in Barbados and around 6,000 people who are employed in the fishing industry. This is a large amount of people, and it shows fishing on the big scale. Fish is also a signature dish around the island with many different delicacies being created through the variety of different fish caught. There are a variety of different, exotic fish that inhabit Barbados and the different fishermen spend days trying to catch as many fish as possible. Fishing takes part in a variety of different areas around the island, with Speightstown, and Oistins being the main fishing outposts on the island.

A fisherman’s day starts before dawn. Many of the different fishermen start so early, so they can catch the biggest fish possible so that the island can enjoy the mouthwatering delight of the bajan fish. Many different fishermen row out for 12 miles in order to catch the best fish. The wind is quite strong this far out at sea and many of the different fishermen have to keep their boats steady in order for the best catch. The fishermen usually take their time when arriving to a destination. The fishermen usually drop one singular net into the sea with palm fronds attached to each end. The palm ends create a shadow where flying fish usually gather to hide from the sun. The fish usually get caught in the net resulting in a catch. This net will stay out until the end of the day so that the maximum amount of fish can be caught. Many of the fishermen drop a more shallow net into the sea during their day. The net is filled with cut fish and oil dangles. This usually attracts the fish resulting in a bigger catch. After every hour the net is then raised resulting in around 500 fish being caught. Whilst waiting for these fish, the fishermen usually spend time fishing with handlines. This maximises their productivity as more fish will be caught. At the end of each day the fishermen bag their catch and wash both the boat and themselves down. The fishermen then hand over their fish to the market vendors and their day is finished.

There are many different fish that can be caught in Barbados. However, the most popular fish has to be the Flying fish. The Flying fish is somewhat of a symbol for the local Barbadans, and many historic pieces of artwork and sculptures have been made around the fish. The Flying fish also provides the island with one of it’s specialty dishes. The Flying fish and Cou Cou dish is an island favourite and enjoyed by many of the locals and visitors. The other fish that are located on the island include: Yellow Fin Tuna, Wahoo, Sailfish, White Marlin, Barracuda, Dolphin mahi-mahi, and Blue Marlin. Each of these fish are extremely popular in Barbados, and provide some of the best dishes on the island.

Many of the different boats are brightly colored. This is for a good reason, as if the engine dies out then the fisherman will be stranded on their own. Many of the fishermen are wary about this and at the start of each trip, they pray to God to give the fishermen hope and faith. Being a Fisherman isn’t easy, however, it does provide an adventurous lifestyle and many fishermen do run the risk of being stuck.

With the increasing development in technology there are many different skills that are needed when conducting long line fishing. The governments fishing management plan calls for training in boat design, construction, and improvement of fishers and owners business skills. The government believe that training will help improve individual skills that will then result in better fishermen on the island.

Fishing will always be an integral part in bajan culture and will be around for years to come. However, the future of the local fishermen in Barbados is at risk. There are a variety of different vessels around the island of Barbados, and the more organised operators have really taken over in the islands supply of fish. The possibility of foreign investment is also a strong possibility with any external businesses looking for vast number of fish for their specific businesses. Barbados will have to fight these issues in the future, as the heritage of the island can be found in fishing. Many different local dishes and events take place around the island based around fishing and it is extremely important that the fishermen stay in the island, supplying for the locals.

Overall fishing plays an integral part in Barbados. Towns such as Speightstown and Oistins thrive off strong fishing communities. When you visit Barbados there will be many different events that will exhibit the sublime effect that fish has on the island. The Friday Fish-Fry in Barbados, is a highlight on the island with many people travelling across the island to taste some of the fresh delights that are available in the town of Oistins. The Oistins Fish Fry Festival also displays the truly scrumptious food that is provided by fishermen. The Fish Fry festival is a more vibrant version of the normal Friday fry up. The annual fish fry festival highlights the contribution made by everyone involved with fishing. Lots of food is available, as is many different arts and crafts. As you can see fishing plays an integral role in the bajan society and without it the island would not be the same.

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