ESSENTIAL PART OF THE CULTURE: FISHING IN SRI LANKA

Out past the breakers on a stretch of southern Sri Lankan coastline, men perch on simple stick crosses, flicking short poles with a hypnotic rhythm, fishing.

Their technique, stilt fishing, has been practiced by two generations of fishermen, for roughly 70 years. Though the 2004 tsunami devastated the country’s fishing industry, and many in the country to-day pose on their stilts for money, the men we met around the towns of Weligama, Ahangama and Unawatuna fished to supplement their other jobs. Proof of this was hauled onto the beach every day, descaled, gutted and ready to be barbecued right on the beach.


Report by Gear Patrol