A family returns home to Daracoton Island after a fishing trip. Palawan, 2016
Romelyn (aged 7) helps her father clean his fishing nets after he returns from sea in the early morning. Pangaraykayan village, Palawan, 2014.
A squid fisherman recently returned from sea docked on the shores of Pangaraykayan village. 2015
A fisherman preparing hooks for night fishing, Darocotan village, northeast Palawan.
Husband and wife Boy and Doris Gacasa fishing at dawn in Darocotan Bay. “We wake up at 3am each day to go out in our paddleboat. That’s the best time – when others are not around to disturb the fish,” says Doris. The couple, who met in a nearby village when Doris was 18 and Boy was 23, have been married for 44 years. They purchased their two-hectare property for five Pesos in the late 1970s and brought up their seven children fishing and farming upland rice, cashew nuts and bananas. “When the sea is too rough for fishing, we find other ways to make ends meet,” says Boy. Palawan 2014
Until around seventy years ago, Palawan had little contact with the outside world and the people who lived here depended on the islands’ reefs and thick forests to meet their daily needs. An intimacy with the environment developed that defined every aspect of their lives from the practical to the spiritual.
Fisherman near Sibaltan. Palawan, 2015
Visible: 81% ↑
Age: 10.41 days Moonrise 14:21 Men catching big-eyed scad to use as baitfish for tuna. Later in the evening they will move from the relatively calm waters of Puerto Bay to fishing grounds in the Sulu Sea where they will stay for a few days and nights before returning home with their catch. 2018
Night fisherman. Daracoton Bay, northeastern Palawan.
The empty nets of fishermen in Darocotan Bay, in northeast Palawan. Local residents have observed a steep decline in the abundance of fish in these waters over the past 20 years. 2017
Visible: 39% ↑
Age: 6.28 days Moonrise 10:42 A fisherman’s catch. Pangaraykayan village. 2015
A man prepares to go night fishing during the new moon. Many Palaweños live according to the tides, winds, and lunar cycles. Night fishing occurs before the first quarter and after the last quarter when the sky is relatively dark and fish are attracted to the fishers' lights. Daracoton Bay. Palawan 2010
Waning gibbous (17.39 days, moonrise 19:50) days, moonrise 19:50) An indigenous Calamian Tagbanua man feeling cold and tired after spear-fishing. Palawan 2008
An indigenous Calamian Tagbanua man spear-fishing in the shallows of Bausuanga Island. Palawan 2008
Freshly caught yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) is brought ashore at Jacana fish port. Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 2016
In the 1950s a boom in Philippine fisheries suddenly brought Palawan to the attention of the fishing industry. It was a rich, virtually untouched source and the islands’ population soon swelled with migrant fisherfolk. By the 1970s almost two-thirds of the country’s fish catch came from here.
Jacana fish port, Puerto Princesa City. 2016
Freshly caught yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) are brought ashore at Jacana fish port. Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 2015
A vendor slices a jackfish at the market in downtown Puerto Princesa City. Palawan, 2014
Goldstrip ponyfish (Karalla daura) for sale at the market in downtown Puerto Princesa City. 2014
A fisherman aboard the Nerissa N, an industrial fishing vessel in northeast Palawan. 2017
Fishermen aboard the Nerissa N, an industrial fishing vessel in northeast Palawan. These vessels use sonar and high-powered lights to locate and lure vast schools of fish in Palawan waters. They originate in Manila, where they return to sell their catch. 2017
A record of fish caught aboard industrial fishing vessel Nerissa N in northeastern Palawan. It is measured in "banyera," large buckets which each hold around 40kg of fish. This record shows that the fishing fleet caught 114,185 banyera in one month. Their catch peaked at the time of the new moon when the vessels' strong lights would have been most effective as a fish lure. Palawan, 2015