I took these photos a while ago in Marathon and set them aside in the midst of other preoccupations. Now I've found them I want to post them because they remind me of happier times.
I'm not a fisherman but next time you hear someone says there is no industry in the Keys think of these beautiful symmetrical pots waiting for lobster season to roll around. These are the industry that doesn't require tourists.
Lobster pots remind me of the agricultural communities I grew up in. The work is hard, by all accounts as I've never done it. It's all weather dependent and market dependent just like farmers' crops are, and the results can offer workers lots of money or none.
I never found farming to my liking and I doubt fishing commercially would do me any better. I don't even find the time to try angling for fun. I got sick and tired of tractors and fields and and monotony and repetition and the inability to ever get away...
Yet how can you imagine a world without farmers or fishermen?
To have ever thought I would end up not only working for the police but enjoying it would have rendered me speechless twenty years ago. But I have spent more time sitting in an office than I could ever imagine doing this kind of work, no matter the rewards:
The oceans are warming, populations are increasing and the demand for fish keeps going up apparently.
And yet it still comes back to the crews, almost all are men, in boats, almost all are fiberglass or steel, going out day and night and engaging in a hunt as old as humanity for food from the sea.