Dominica Living - Fishing Dominica - Titiwi
  Fishing Dominica
    

Titiwi

 

 

       

 

Like clockwork on the 4th day after the last lunar quarter, arriving from somewhere in the Caribbean sea, titiwi, a translucent, tiny, guppy-sized fish (gobi family) appear by the multiple hundreds of millions, at the mouths of the island’s fresh water rivers. So many, comparatively, there might be fewer grains of sand in a bucket. Their appearance occurs near the end of a pilgrimage that takes them from sea, up the rivers to a possible fate of spawning, followed by death or perhaps a journey back out to sea.

 

This occurrence electrifies local fishermen, villagers, fish buyers, restaurant owners, old, young, children, dogs, larger fish and sea birds of all types as, at daybreak, all are clustering and clamoring along the shore and into the river mouth and sea to partake, share and assist in the catch... a delicacy soon to be steamed, boiled, fried as cakes or ackra... destined for cook stoves and table tops across the island.

 

Arriving by boat at the mouth of the Layou River, the largest on Dominica, (located along the west coast), Tony has brought me along to experience the phenomena.  Already, as the sun breaks over the mountains to the east, dozens of small boats, men, boys and women of all ages are waist to neck deep in the surf helping to control large, 100 feet or more in length, nets that are being used to capture the titiwi in their instinctive, unstoppable surge up the river. 

 

There is a clutter of hollering and shouting of orders, excitement and bargaining as everyone helps the other in heaving and controlling the nets or… in lugging 40 gallon barrels, tubs, buckets, pots, pans and plastic sacks, all teaming with the tiny fish, to shore.  Small boys help where they can.  Women and their young daughters and sons, grandmothers and grandfathers, and host of other spectators, watch from along the sandy shore, waiting to purchase a pound or two or 10 or more.   

 

The momentum of the catch lasts for hours into the duskiness of evening until, for both man & tiny fish, all are finished... until the next 4th day after the last lunar quarter when the titiwi return, again.
 

World Rivers Day / Titiwi Festival 
Rivers are more than water!
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