The Night Fishermen of the Philippines

Midway through July of 2019 I took to the seas of Lagonoy Gulf, Bicol, with fishermen Joel Bongkingki and Edgardo de Vera. I’d prepared for a two-to-three hour trip at the cusp of sunset, so of course I was surprised to learn that we’d be out fishing from six in the evening right until the sun rose the next day at seven.

Through brisk breeze and biting cold I sat on the deck of a boat good for two (we were three) with not a single inch of talent for fishing in my entire body. I sat, wrapped up in a heavy jacket and a fleece hat, as these two seasoned sailors toiled through the moonless, starry night. As they worked they told me about the difficulties of life at sea and the dangers they now face in a world whose fisheries are in decline.

The two of them were proud, proud – but weary. I can only hope that my words and pictures do justice to their work.

Read the full story, The Night Fishermen of the Philippines, here.

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