Three pals of the sea

September 11, 2018
From left: Keith Brown, Ewan Kenton, and Joash Melbourne, fishermen from Duncans, Trelawny, read their copies of the Western Star.

Keith Brown, Ewan Kenton, and Joash Melbourne are three fishermen from Duncans, Trelawny. They have been fishing since they were boys.

Ewan tells of the experience he and a fellow fisherman had with a mako shark.

"We were in the water setting our net. He shouted, 'Shark!' I tried to jump back into the boat and missed, and the splash caused the shark to go away. We knew that it would come back. By the time we got in the boat, here comes the shark again. To get him away, we gave it all the fish we had, and it went away as we headed for shore," Ewan said.

"The mako shark is one of the most dangerous ones in the sea. Other sharks will come to get whatever amount of fish you have, but the mako will attack you."

The three fishermen said fishing is their means of earning to take care of their families.

"I am not scared because if you are to die by hanging, you are not going to be eaten by sharks," Keith said.

He added: "The sea is safer than land. Nothing happens out there without a warning. My main concern now is the dredging which is being done by Port Authority of Jamaica. In the day, they carry the silt to the designated three miles out, but at night, they do not do that. There has to be a monitoring of the dredging so our fishing is not affected in a negative way. When we go to find our nets, we cannot find it because we cannot see. The water is too dirty."

Another thing that the fishermen want monitored is the illegal harvesting of turtles.

"Turtles are among the endangered species, but some fishermen do not care about that," Joash told the WESTERN STAR.

"From time to time, turtles get trapped in the net. I clear the net and release it. Other fishermen regard it as their luck. They kill it and take it to shore for sale. There is a ready market for it, especially if eggs are in the turtle," he said.

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