The Sustainable Fishing Practices of Dhivehi Reef Fishermen (and how the resort industry is screwing them over)
With their methods they show a natural love for the environment that was not born of books and research but from the sheer experience of having to rely on nature for their sustenance. They never admitted it or acknowledged it, but I could tell that they knew that their methods were just. They could easily use much more damaging methods of fisheries and increase their haul, exploiting the reef in the manner that the resort owners are exploiting them, but for some inexplicable reason they don’t.
They care too much for these waters. They know every fish by name, they know every reef, they know every little uninhabited island that would eventually be turned into a resort and they knew what would come with that resort; the chains of oppression, disguised in the promise of opportunity and riches. More than anything else, most of the men seemed to know who they were. They were men of the sea and they did not struggle with themselves to accept that identity. Their ancestors had sailed these oceans since time immemorial. Long before the Mayflower, long before Mohammed, Jesus, or even Buddha had been born, Dhivehin had already started their love affair with the ocean. With handlines, determination and skill they would catch amounts that would make a trawler captain blush in shame. They knew how to fish and they were superb at it. They loved the ocean and the ocean loved them back.
They were also among the nicest and most humble people I have ever met.