Driftnet Fishing

A few weeks ago, while in route to the Mentawai Tribes, I was faced with an unexpected overnight stay in a small bay near Padang, Sumatra. Towards the end of the day, I noticed a group of men, 25 or so, gathering near the shoreline just in front of our beach bungalow. Minutes later, a few of the men headed out into the water, chest deep, and started to pull in 4 long, white lines that eventually revealed the beginning of a large net. After observing this for a few minutes, I noticed a line of small buoys on the water’s surface leading approximately 1000ft out into the bay. This was going to be a lot of work and presumably a very large catch, which I had to see! I ran to my bungalow, grabbed the camera and got down to the beach to document the catch. Later, I found out this catch was to be divided among the men working the net as well as a few other locals that arrived shortly after the net was on the beach. I will let the images below further tell the details of my story and experience.