zanzibar seaweed farming
the tokyo tuna auction
the stilt fishermen of sri lanka
zanzibar seaweed farmingWhen you research Zanzibar, seaweed farming does not even make it to the top 4 or 5 pages in Google and certainly does not appear in most travel forums or discussion groups. Yes, the determined researcher or traveller may eventually get there, but it’s harder than it looks. And this is a crime.Setting aside the fact that seaweed farming is one of the largest, non-tourist related, single industries in Zanzibar, it is also a vehicle for significant social and cultural change in an otherwise rather strict Muslim country. It is fascinating to observe, incredibly beautiful to see and awe-inspiring to learn about. For more than a century it has changed the fates and fortunes of countless women, given them a way out of an otherwise very limited life, but now, this is changing. Rapidly and, unfortunately, not for the best.Seaweed farming and its fortunes are one of the most obvious and visual indicators of how global warming is affecting our planet and this planet will be worse off if it were ever to die away.
the tokyo tuna auction Once branded as the single, most important, fish auction in the world, the morning tuna auction at Tsukiji market at the Tokyo docks is certainly absolutely amazing. True, it is hard to get into, it is very regimented and highly controlled, it is not very conducive to photography but it is an absolutely must-do for any adventurous traveller and certainly for any photographer. With all the trickiness involved in visiting the auction, it is surprisingly easy to get to - if you don’t mind skipping some sleep, sitting on the floor and, well, walking through a wet and freezing seafood market.
the stilt fishermen of sri lankaThe stilt fishermen of Sri Lanka are, for one reason or another, on every travel photographer’s wish list (and for that we have Steve McCurry to blame - but that’s another story altogether!) And they are there for a very, very good reason. It’s not only the tradition itself - which is unfortunately dying - but the people who make this an amazing experience, both visually as well as in terms of the memories and the knowledge you take away.These days, finding the fishermen is both easy and extraordinarily difficult as people who used to be fishermen have learned that posing for tourists can be, sometimes, more profitable that actually fishing, so in easily accessible beaches, where the stilts are close to the beach, most people posing as fishermen are not real. But, there are quite a few of them (and, don’t get me wrong, visually, they are brilliant!), so they’re relatively easy to find.However, finding real ones, ones who wake up at 4am to wade out to the deep stilts to fish for barracuda, the ones who rely on the fishing for their living…well, that’s another story altogether!
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