Sea Fears

Empty insulated containers on a fishing dhow that has just returned from the high seas

Last night I received a call from a fisherman who became a friend when I went to the jetty to take pictures of him and his colleagues at work a few months ago.
This man, from India, is among the thousands who venture out into the sea every day to catch what they and serve up on the plates of people in Bahrain. Though they have a rough life, odd working hours, have to set sail at any time of the day or night, and remain several days out at sea at a stretch, they are paid meager sums, sometimes only about $300 per month.
But the real sad part of that even these paltry wages now elude most of these men, as my friend confirmed. He said business is bad and the catch very less, so they end up not getting enough to help make a profit. The first casualty, of course, are the wages of these men.DSC_1105 While some of them have gone to their respective embassies (several are also from Bangladesh) to complain, most prefer to wait and watch and let life take its course. They may eventually be paid but that will be in installments.
All this after these seafarers risk their lives and their livelihood to go out to sea, sometimes even straying into the territorial waters of a neighbouring country and getting jailed. Here again, and strangely enough, while their fines are paid by their employers, these poor men have to pay the money back, in between four and six equal monthly installments.

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