This Is How Subsistence Fishermen Hunt the Danajon Bank in the Philippines, By Night

by Owen James Burke

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Photo: Thomas P. Peschak/NatGeo.

Fishing, almost the world over, is better at night. No one knows this better than those who live–and subsist–by shallow reefs, which come alive at night when otherwise vigilant critters grow hungry and let up their guard up to go on the prowl.

For the largely self-sustaining community that lives along the double barrier reef of the Danajon Bank outside of Cebu in the Philippines, it’s hunting time. Attaching a kerosene lamp, spotlight or floodlight to the prow of a skiff, they’re able to swim with the boat (and lights) in tow, scanning the seafloor with handmade spears for small reef fish and other nutrient-rich sea life to feed their families.

Read more about photographers Thomas P. Peschak and Luciano Candisani’s expedition at Project Seahorse, an organization working to build a sustainable fishery with the participation and expertise of fishers, traders, and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. Watch a short video on Project Seahorse below:

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