(Part of my Gone Fishing story)
Monday, 21 July 1997
Day 3 at Sea (continued)
1300 hours SAMOAN TIME (Pacific Time minus four hours)
Saw the first action this morning. As the helicopter was flying around, the spotter in the crow’s nest saw a school of tuna.
Schools of tuna look like ripples or foam in the water as the fish feed on the surface. Usually the way it works is the helicopter sees the school and calls the boat over, but this time the boat called the helicopter over.
After confirming the school, the helicopter landed and picked up the captain. He prefers to oversee the operation from the air so he can see “the big picture.”
We laid out the net and circled the fish, but before we could close the net, the fish escaped. They either dove under the net, or went between the boat and the skiff before the circle had been completed.
Quite interesting to watch the whole operation. As soon as the captain gives the signal, the skiff is released off the rear and is used an anchor for the one end of the net. The boat then goes in a large circle around the school to close the circle.
If the school of tuna looks like it is going to make a run for the opening, the crew bangs on the side of the boat with pipes to make noise and the speed boat circles around in the opening, further creating noise.
The crew also throws dye marker in the water by the gap between the skiff and the boat so the water turns a fluorescent green, which the fish cannot see through and therefore do not go in that direction.
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