Photo Essay – Life in a Fishing Village in Southeast Asia

Life in a coastal fishing village can be both rugged and refreshing. Can you picture God at work here?

Photographs by Commnet Media

A Commnet photographer visits a fishing community in Southeast Asia. Read about his visit, then scroll down for a few telling images.

Life in a coastal town tends to be less hurried than in the big cities. But a rugged fishing town has its own kind of harshness. In the country where I took these photos, more than 50 million depend on fish as their main source of animal protein. To put that in perspective, the average person there consumes 56 kilograms of seafood. That’s four times the average for a U.S. citizen. And many rely on fishing and aquaculture not only for food but for their livelihoods as well.

Not surprisingly, nearly everyone I met along the waterfront of this coastal town was engaged in the fishing industry. Some ran small-scale operations. Others were part of larger commercial enterprises. From giant trevally, barracuda and king mackerel to sardines and shrimps of every imaginable variety, the waters of this land are truly a vital resource.

As I interacted with local people, I couldn’t help but wonder about the similarities between this area and Galilee, where Jesus called his first disciples, also fishermen. Will you pray with me for “fishers of men” to come from this place and take their part in bringing the good news about Jesus to the nations?

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.” – Matthew 4:18-22

Fishing in Southeast Asia

A man fishes for baracuda from a dock in southeast Asia

A fisherman holds his line, hand-fishing from the dock. His bait is a 6” fish on a heavy hook with a heavy line. He’s fishing for barracuda.

A small fishing boat comes into the harbor - Southeast Asia fishing village

A man steers his small fishing boat piled high with nets. See the floats roped to the flag poles? Those will mark where the net is adrift in the water.

A woman cuts, cleans and salts the daily catch - fishing village in Southeast Asia

A woman cuts, cleans and salts the daily catch in a small-scale commercial fishing hut.

Fish is salted and cured in the hot sun - fishign village in Southeast Asia

Fish is salted and cured in the hot sun.

Man repairs his wooden boat with rope - fishing village in Southeast Asia

A man pounds rope into the seams of his fishing boat. After that, he will seal the ropes with pitch.

Village scene with boats - fishing village in Southeast Asia

A man in traditional attire walks toward the water in a small fishing village in the Western part of the country.

Fishing fleet - Southeast Asia fishing village

Fishing crews shelter their boats in a bay. You can see private and commercial operations on the shore.

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