The Bloody Business Of Purse Sein Fisheries In Ecuador (PART ONE)

So I got my blood and guts after all.

The purse seiner set it's net at dawn.

Crazy as it sounds, helicopters are used to by purse seiners to look for fish.

As the purse string is drawn tight, the net gradually closes in.

The sea is stained red by the skipjack tuna thrashing about in their own blood.

I saw two boats plundering the ocean today.

On the second one, I counted fifteen bucket scoops in total.

It seems a tad greedy to me.

The guys on deck work incredibly hard.

I'm sure these fish didn't expect a bird's eye view of the ocean from a nylon net in the sky.

Today's bycatch:-

JUVENILE BIG EYE TUNA. Listed as 'vulnerable' (VU) on the United Nations, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, 'Red List of Threatened Species'.

BLACK MARLIN. Not listed as an endangered species, but it is widely accepted that stocks in the Pacific are severely depleted due to pressures from commercial fisheries.

GREEN TURTLE. Listed as an 'endangered' (EN) species on the UN IUCN Red List. The international trade in green turtle shells is illegal under international law (CITES).

Stuck in the net, rolling around.

But credit where credit is due. I saw the fishermen actually release this lucky chap back in the water.

The evil empress sails away, ready to devastate the oceans another day.

One more day of chasing fishing boats tomorrow, then it's back to the Big Lychee...

ALEX HOFFORD : HONG KONG CHINA ECUADOR PHOTOGRAPHER

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