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La Belle Violita

Skipper : M. Dona Ah Khon.

Size of boat : 12 m.

Number of fishermen : 4.

Fishing trip : Max 10 days.

La Belle Violita is a beautiful green and white schooner made of wood and fiber-glass. Built 13 years ago on La Digue island, it is the property of a family of fishermen known for their expertise in fishing for generations. Dona, the skipper, is a tall and quiet man also from La Digue. He is a long-time fisherman and has been the skipper of the boat since it is in the family (owned by his brother).

Fishing is truly a family affair and Dona does not imagine doing any other job. He says that fishing is a hard profession, but he loves it. "You must have courage and patience if you choose it, but it is a good job".

However, the job is easier than it used to be, the modernization of equipment for navigation and working conditions are more comfortable. However, he thinks the price of fish is not up to its quality and the time spent at sea. The care given to fish on board is really important, and he views it as a matter of principle. It is unthinkable to remove a fish from the sea and to not take care of it afterwards.

Some challenges remain for traditional fishermen. They are facing globalisation and changes in consumption habits. Fewer young people want to go out to sea. Nevertheless, it is, for Dona, a sustainable, calm and peaceful job. When he is at sea, away from all the hassle, away from temptation and pressures, he feels fortunate. But he is also glad when he returns to land. He leaves the boat at Mahé and takes the Cat Coco to La Digue. Dona considers himself to be lucky because his crew is trustworthy, largely composed of "clan members", brother, nephew, cousin...

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