In the Twelve Leagues: Men with Chapingorro in hands [1] (+ Photos)

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By Lázaro David Najarro Pujol / Collaborator.

May, 2020.-Under the strong Caribbean sun two men move in a shack through the blue green waters of the Twelve Leagues.

In the sea, the heat of the sun, in the bodies of these two men, is felt even more than on land. The traditional chapingorro [2], after the lifting of each ban on lobster, is the main art of fishing.

While one is rowing the other fisherman holds firmly in his hand the ham made of nylon ropes tied to a long pole.

He leans at the stern of the shack [3] and with the glass bottom cube of magnification looks in the cache, in the depths of the labyrinth, for lobster. He finds nothing, but he is not discouraged and instructs his co-worker to continue rowing to try the next fishing boat, built of discarded tires where the crustacean hides.

Failed multiple times on the scan. Again he looks at the bottom of the sea and smiles satisfied. Enter the chapingorro and soon on the deck of the shack the first large Crystal Lady is deposited.

How many times in a day does a fisherman make that exhausting move? Maybe three hundred. Due to this constancy, the crew of the Cabeza del Este vessels fulfill their extractive plans.

In good years a lobster boat can catch more than 60 tons, but there are seasons when the species does not behave favorably, but the fishermen do not give up.

With the little manifestation of the species, they are required to combine the chapingorro with the cages, where expertise and individual effort are decisive, in order to capture the little crustacean that moves in Cabeza del Este.

The productive capacity of these guerrillas of the sea is very high, but it also does not miss out on the stages of surprises.

Such are the men in the labyrinths of the Twelve Leagues: determined and battling. That is the secret of their abundant catches in a decisive trench in the country’s economy. The lobster becomes an important treasure that nature gave to the Jardines de la Reina archipelago.

[1] Radio program Hombres de sol y salitre. Radio Santa Cruz, September 20, 1995.

[2] In the Spanish dictionary chapingorro means fishing gear consisting of a small diameter hoop and a bag-shaped net attached to a long wooden handle.

[3] Smaller flat-bottom boat for transport in places with little draft. (Author’s photos).(Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez)

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