Photographer's Note

After the Pedro Cays, the Morant Cays are Jamaica's second largest off-shore reef fishery and make an important contribution to the total national catch.

In order to get fresh fish from the cays to the mainland, boats known as "packers" arrive packed full of ice. They stay for 3 to 5 days and while there the fishermen go out to sea to pull up their traps. Back at the cay the fishermen then sell their catch to the packerboats. When the hold is full up the packerboats return to the mainland normally carrying anywhere between 2000 and 4000kg of fish with them.

Here the captain of the packerboat is moving ice around inside the boat's hold awaiting fisherman to come from sea and offload their catch. This could consist of 'quality' fish, such as the largest snapper, parrot, or jacks; 'common' fish such as mid-sized parrot, grunts and wrasses; or 'trash' fish such as squirrel, doctor, or surgeonfish.

In 1995 the packerboats would buy quality fish for JA$50/lb, common fish for JA$30/lb, and trash fish for JA$24/lb. I am not sure of the price nowadays but I am sure it would be far, far more than that.

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Additional Photos by casper duppy (casperduppy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 252 W: 93 N: 369] (1756)
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