the British Virgin Islands,many things are still done old style.
These handmade fish traps incorporate locally grown tree branches
and plain old chicken coop wire. The builder has spent many hours
chopping and collecting the sticks, stripping them of their greenery,
then using baling wire to fashion a frame from the sticks, to
attach the chicken coop wire. While it's hard to detect in the photos,
there is a little tunnel, also made of chicken coop wire for the fish
to enter the trap.
The trap is baited with smaller fish that usually can't figure out how
to escape, through the tunnel. The bigger fish come in the trap to eat
the smaller fish and generally can't figure out how to get back in the
tunnel to swim to freedom. After a few days, a fisherman, who has sunk
these traps under the sea, tethered to a small floating buoy
above, will come along , pull the traps up, relieve them of their fish,
then rebait and relaunch the traps again.
At dinner that night in the many seaside restaurants, the fresh caught fish will be on tonight's menu.
The only problem, is that if these traps are lost in bad weather, they
travel around the ocean, becoming killing machines until they finally
A seasoned old timer told me:
was once a big push by Conservation and Fisheries to have the fisherfolk use
bio-degradable wire so that if a trap was lost it would eventually stop
functioning and trapping fish. This was about ten to fifteen years ago and some
fisherfolk did sign up for it but I don’t know if it’s continuing – I believe
Conservation and Fisheries was actually supplying them with the special
From this picture, I can not tell if this is special biodegradable
wire, or just the garden variety chicken coop, we can olnly hope for
the best , and that the traps never become lost.