On many beaches in Sri Lanka, surfers and holiday bathers share space with local fishermen who keep their boats on the beach. We visited three different beaches during our visit and on two of these there were several fishing boats. On several occasions we saw fishermen on the beach who were pulling in long nets and the tourists were quickly there to help. The nets were several hundred meters long and very heavy, so many tourists felt that it was a little fun to help out. Of course, we were also curious about what they might have caught in their nets.
The first time we saw this was when we stayed north of the charming town Galle, in Gintota. This is a small and calm beach where there are almost no tourists at all. So when we gathered round the fishermen I gave them a hand, it was quite heavy pulling for a few minutes, but a lot of fun. I was of course curious to see the catch.
As more and more of the net was pulled up on shore, anticipation rose. Some said they might be fishing for tuna, but that turned out to be wrong, they were after smaller fish. Finally we realized that there was actually something inside the net, and it was larger than a small fish.
When the fishermen finally got the very last part of the net up on land, we saw that what we (they) had caught was a rather large turtle. I thought they were a bit rough on it, but they made sure to get the turtle out of the net quickly and send it back into the sea again. It went so fast that I didn’t even get to take a photograph of the turtle.
Unfortunately for the fishermen it was also the only thing that was inside the net. Left on the beach was now a very long fishing net. And soon they went out to try their luck once more.
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