The darkest catch: Ravindranath K spends the night at Abu Dhabi fishing harbour

  • 02:00am - Fishermen unload their catch ready for auction.
  • 02:08am The market gets busy as fishermen continue to unload their boats.
  • 02:44am - A fisherman guts fish in preparation.
  • 02:45am - Ice keeps the fish as fresh as possible during the sale.
  • 03:11am - A Kingfish is held aloft as it is taken from a boat.
  • 04:39am - Saeed Rashid al Zaabi an auctioneer walks past the fishes laid out for sale.
  • 04:44am - Thousands of fish are laid out ready for auction.
  • 04:55am - Saeed Rashid al Zaabi in full flow during the auction.
  • 05:03am - Going.... fish tails.
  • 05:14am - Going..... Mohammed Noobi, leads buys through the sale of various lots.
  • 05:17am - Gone..... A stall owner in the retail fish market takes his purchase to be sold.
  • 05:09am - Baskets of fish are moved over to the retail market for sale.
  • 05:45am - Sardines in a basket fresh and ready for sale.

The National’s Ravindranath K documents the vibrancy of Abu Dhabi’s fishing harbour in the Mina port area.

As most of us are falling asleep the Fish Market is coming to life for a nightly ritual of off-loading, sorting, and auctioning before the winning bidders, and less lucky fish, make their way to the retail stalls.

As Ravi reports: "The auction is the most interesting. Two main auctioneer’s call out ascending prices. The interplay between the auctioneers and the regular bidders is fascinating. It’s organised chaos with each player knowing exactly what their next move is. The scene repeats over and over, lot by lot."