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The Original WWP

(March 20, 2004)

John Patten

Rim of the World at the Arrowhead Highlands

Jean-Marc Paratte

Sami the Fisherman - Lake of Neuchâtel

Lake of Neuchâtel, Tivoli, Saint-Aubin-Sauges, Neuchâtel, Switzerland

09:35 GMT+1

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© 2004 Jean-Marc Paratte, Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons License

Already several days have passed since the March 20th appointment was taken to photograph Sami the fisherman, his son, his wife and perhaps an assistant.

If everything went as planned, there would have been plenty of sunshine, a truly blessed day of fishing, and a mountain of fish to be prepared for sale.

Today, though, it is raining; but that does not prevent us from fishing, although the boat's engine died (Sami's son also has his own small fishing boat), and the fish deserted the shallow waters (they will return perhaps tomorrow). A few days earlier, Sami had said to me, "sometimes, there are so many fish, we have to have 4 people working all day long!"

Well, let us think positively. The new nets need to be checked. Because a fishing net needs preparing and there are several steps of manufacture, Sami buys the nets unfinished - only meshes - in Italy close to Lake Iseo. Then a skilled woman attaches the net to the traction cord, which is usually green. Sometimes, the nets come directly from China. But the fish is from our place, almost: perch, trout, pike, etc... and American crayfish!

At this point of the presentation, it would perhaps be interesting to speak about this famous American crayfish: introduced accidentally into European lakes, they colonized all the areas by going up the rivers and other water paths. The crayfish is particularly unpleasant for our friends the fishermen: enormous quantities get stuck in the nets and cause great damage.

Sami's fishing hut was built by his father on the edge of Neuchâtel Lake, where our ancestors (Lacustre) had established their own dwellings on the piles. Soon, he will build a new one for his son. In the end of 19th century, the first correction of the water level of the Jura lowered the Lake a few meters to form the 3 distinct Lakes: Bienne, Morat and Neuchâtel.

The techniques of fishing have not changed much since then - one still uses nets - but the modern fishermen are now conscious of the impact of fishing, the renewal of species, the problems of pollution, etc... The only concessions with modernism: gasoline engines, nylon threads, electronic balances, coffee machines, televisions and cellphones!
This page in French / Cette page en français
Panorama photographed with Nikon Coolpix 5000 equipped with an FC-E8 lens,
4 shots at 90° ISO 100 F/2.8: 1/53s, 1/29s, 1/18s, 1/46s.
Angular divider and support self-made.
Panorama assembled with PTGui 3.5, converted to QTVR with MakeCubic.

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