A Nevispages.com weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr
The way I see it, FISHERMEN need to be respected for the work they do.
I have made it a point of duty, never to query the prices that Fishermen demand for their precious catch.
I can’t even fully fathom the sacrifice that they make to carry out their trade, on a daily basis. I mean, these guys wake up really early for those mornings that they are going out, even if it is cold and rainy, while most of us are still in our warm, cozy beds. Even the preparations, I understand, can be an ordeal.
They must have their safety equipment, extra gasoline, necessary tools, some kind of food…and the list goes on. They are out on that water, most times, for hours on end.
Every day may be fishing day but not every day is catching day. So, they have their days of utter frustration.
Then there are the predators. There are some wicked people, who wait until these hard-working folks have done all of the hard work and then go and lift their pots, with the entire catch.
Well I newa!
Then of course we have heard of fishermen who make the odd error in judgement. I guess you would have heard about the fisherman, who in marking his pot, marked it by using a donkey that was tied close to the shoreline. Sadly, when he returned to look for his pot, the owner of the donkey had already moved the animal!
I was also told of a story (true story), of two Nevisians. They were not Fishermen by any stretch of the imagination.
However, one was probably still is, a major crook and somehow encouraged a friend of his to accompany him on a ‘mission’. That mission was a trip out to sea, to haul pots that did not belong to them. Now, the one who told me the story, could not swim, still cannot swim, but he braved the deep fears he was harbouring and went out in the boat.
While out to sea, as God would allow, the boat ran out of gas. Fortunately for them, another fisherman passed by and it was agreed that my friend would go back with him to get gas for the boat. When my friend got back on land, he told the fisherman who was assisting them: ‘Me nar go back out dey!’ He had had enough of being a scamp for one day!
We also know that Nevis has had its full share of fishermen-loved ones, going missing at sea, never to be found again.
There are also stories, of persons who were missing for days and somehow, miraculously survived to tell the tale.
Then there are the days when they may be caught in foul weather and the horror stories resulting.
Then ask them also about the occasional shark attacks. I mean the stories are numerous. Then we want to argue over the price of their catch!
I once read of the ordeals of a young fisherman from the Philippines, who was stranded at sea for two months. He survived on drinking rainwater and eating moss, growing on the side of the boat. He cried and prayed and cried and prayed, all throughout the ordeal.
Many boats passed close to him, during those two months but nobody stopped. When he was finally rescued, he vowed never to set foot on a boat again!
So, you think it is easy, being a fisherman?
Yet interestingly enough, Jesus calls us to be ‘FISHERS OF MEN.’
Right away you should know that it takes men and women with backbone to represent him in this way.
May God help us to give Fishermen the respect and the due they deserve and may God help us in our quest to serve him in the way he requires.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?