The mender on the wharf

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Sitting facing the sea, he does not for a single moment take his eyes off his work. Several metres of blue nets pass through his skilled fingers. He replicates the movements women have been making for thousands of years, except that he applies it to a man’s job. He fixes the holes torn by corals; those gaps are sometimes large enough that they allow “mullets” to escape in a silver flash. Seine fishing season is open a short period of time and is heavily monitored. Even though he understands that this fishing practice is intrusive and disastrous for the lagoon, it is still the least tiring traditional fishing method when compared to spending several hours out at sea. Therefore, together with other fishermen sitting under the filaos trees that line the wharf from which men leave full of hope, he tweaks old metal scraps which will serve as ballast, he mends the nets which will be spread between fragile rods. Later, at high-tide, several of them go into the water and agitate the water surface by hitting it with their fishing rods as the seine is thrown overboard. Slowly, the net is closed, effectively trapping the wriggling mullets. The wharf will be crowded this evening.