x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Istabsir: Fishermen of Delma Island

At 5am the boats arrive back at Delma Island after a night of fishing - but that is by no means the end of the shift.

The fishing industry on Delma Island thrives off of Dhows and traditional fishing methods as well as modern ones.
The fishing industry on Delma Island thrives off of Dhows and traditional fishing methods as well as modern ones.

At 5am the first of the boats arrives back at Delma Island after a night of fishing. Fishermen unload their catch into baskets, to be weighed and purchased on the docks by the kilo. Dhows bring in a wide variety of fish while the smaller motorboats bring in mostly kingfish and sharks. Wire traps are woven on the island, in the shipyard where the dhows are repaired and refurbished. Sitting in the centre of the trap, which resembles a basket, the weaver works in circles, adding wire with each pass. Tape protects their hands from blisters and cuts. Dhows in the shipyard are propped up with wooden beams. New planks are carefully fitted to replace old and damaged ones on the sides and decks. String is wrapped around the head of each nail to help keep water out. The yard is filled with the sounds of hammers, drills and saws. As the sun sets, fishermen prepare their boats and traps for another full night on the sea.

To view a video of the fishermen click here.