The shark fishing adventure

Considered foolish by some, and by others, as a way to experience the traditional struggle in which man almost always comes out the victor.

Thursday, July 23, 2009  

In artisanal shark fishing, faluchos or launches 6 to 7 meters (19.6 - 22.9 feet) long are used, equipped with outboard motors. To attract the shark they use a long line tied to a widget called saca vueltas, supported by a rope.  Later comes a hook to which bait is attached, usually a tasty fish called machete.

Nighttime is preferable for going out to fish. In Arica one can find sharks one-and-a-half meters (3.2 ft) long, and up to two meters (6.5 ft) long in the open sea.

Once a shark bites, the fishhook is hauled in until the shark lands inside the falucho. The shark meat is then cut into slices and sold on the pier for 700 pesos per kilo, or about US$1 for 2.2 lbs.

In Arica they catch a shark known as toyo, which is easy to find along the Chinchorro coast, and the cola’e’ zorro (literally: foxtail) and azulejo (literally: blue tile). Shark fishermen are called marrajeros, and their houseboats are called by the same name.