I like the fish calendar. Most people have a mask on their face. I assume the food police insist upon it. No one actually wears it. It’s kind of like seat belts. They are optional till the police give you a ticket. Well in conclusion of my fish market tour, I did see lots of lobster, which I have not seen alive in the Red Sea. There were lots of other fish not seen by me during my dives. It seems that the lack of color indicates that the tasty fish are rather drab. I’d like to know where they net shrimp in such large numbers. And in a random sampling, it appears that squid and octopus are not in demand nor available.
Only a few stalls at the fish market had shark. I guess it is some sort of specialty fish. They were small. Who knows where they were caught or how? Oh, and there were small tuna here and there too. Don’t ask me…” it tastes like chicken” – my stock answer.
There was this one, though, that I have not seen – white spotted guitar fish?
In the Red Sea there is free cleaning service too. These fish are brave or the bigger fish tolerate them as a necessary service. After all how do you scratch your nose? Don’t be wise and say fish don’t have noses. I knew that. But if you want your windows cleaned or your skin scratched it doesn’t help to eat the help does it? Carry on… And after all the recent land pics, did you think I was done with the Red Sea?
The other section of the fish market is for cleaning your purchase. Lines and rows of men are dressed in aprons and rubber boots waiting to gut and fillet your purchases. It is indeed messy. Women sit on benches outside. Men inside congregate and watch their fish being cleaned and dressed. And then there were women collecting the fish heads for stock.
Stationed only a few feet apart these men clean fish efficiently.
So it is too cold to dive. The water temp is just uncomfortable. Why dive cold when you can wait for better temperatures? Well the wildlife is dead. I admit there are fish I don’t see when I dive. And where did they catch all those shrimp. I am lucky to see two together hiding under a coral. Does the cry, “Here fishy fishy…” really work?
Meanwhile there are a lot of choices. Each booth has a limited selection. Who caught these fish? And why doesn’t everyone buy their fish fresh here?
I visited the fish market on my first visit to Jeddah. It must have been a strange request but the driver knew where to take me. We walked about and then were thrown out by an irate policeman when they saw I was taking pictures. So it took three years and a bit of courage to enter again. No police in sight and I realized it was an anomaly the last time. Still, I kept to myself and was discrete in my street photography style. I only put the camera to my eye a few times. Mostly I just let the wide angle capture the scene.
Fresh fish has no smell. The same cannot be said for the parking lot where the sour stench is quite distinctly briny. But within the produce is all fresh. Piled high I wondered how time sensitive it was to sell the piles of dead fish before they were no longer good. Neatly piled shrimp and lobster. Everything was dead. In a Chinese the seafood is kept alive and swimming right up till the purchase.
Small and skittish fish are hard to photograph. Breathing underwater is surprisingly loud noisy. I learned this listening to the sound track of the movies from my camera. And I am a big thing in a black dive suit. Indeed this must be intimidating to a small fish. The spot on the dorsal fin is to distract and mislead the eye into thinking the fish is headed in a different direction or larger than it is. Sometimes you sneak up and get the shot. Or else we would not be looking at this image. It helps to not blow bubbles as you sneak.
A pair! It is so unusual to see one. Here’s a pair. They look like feather dusters. And they close up as soon as you threaten them. Pink ones are quite rare to see. The unusual is usual. At least you take this image and say to yourself it’s nice. I say it is something you rarely see and appreciate that this is a special moment.
Get in close. My early pictures were less so. I got brave. So far I have not been injured. Rule: don’t touch anything. Corollary: Don’t let anything touch you. Stonefish are supposed to be poisonous and dangerous. Myth or truth? Don’t touch anything. So familiarity breeds…. and I am braver and getting closer all the time. I’m not seeing any teeth and the fish is quite docile. It just sits there and stares at me staring at it. So far so good.
I got this image under a coral ledge. I used the flash to my advantage. It reminds me of two fish conferring. I am sure that this is not the case. Fish can’t talk right?