Salt in Their Blood
The traditional fishing communities of Dakar, Senegal are widely scattered across numerous island and shore locations. Fishing is an important source of income and livelihood and many still rely on the iconic sailing boats for their work and transport, as they have done for thousands of years.
With low income and poor levels of education, fishermen generally have a low status in society and are regarded as socially inferior to most other occupations. The power structure is linked to ownership of assets such as land & fishing gear and control is also in the hands of those who are able to influence the price of the catch, the distribution or marketing, as well as supply of credit.
While fishermen are fiercely competitive, they also recognise that they are ultimately brothers, engaged in life of common purpose and shared hardship of vulnerability, risk and resilience. The beating heart to this community throbs at the harbour where the boats are tied up in along row, bows pointed out ready to embark, and the daily catch is bought and sold.