National Geographic : 1959 Nov
Islander Washes the Fish Emptied From His Trap Baited with coconut oil and land crabs, the bamboo-and palm-leaf cage lay submerged overnight among the coral crevices of a Mahe lagoon, where fish mistook the funnel shaped entrance for sheltering arcades of coral. Once inside, they could not find the way out. Originally uninhabited, the Seychelles were colonized by Frenchmen after 1770. Most of the 43,000 inhabitants descended from African slaves. Though they have been British subjects since the end of the Napoleonic Wars, they still speak a lilting French patois. Fisherman and boy are natives; the girl is the daughter of a British official. Other islanders in homemade canoes seine for mullet or catch mackerel on hook and line (page 670). Back in port, they sell their catch for a penny apiece. Sapphire-striped Fish Glides Past a Stinging Coral For variety and abundance of marine life, few places rival Seychelles. In the water, many of the fish resemble birds of brilliant plumage. If taken to the surface, they fade before one's eyes. Most have coarse flesh and little taste, but this variety of porgy (Gaterin) makes good eating. To photograph the colorful fellow, Luis Marden of the National Geographic staff dived into 40 feet of water off Assumption, an outlying Seychelles island, where the French research ship Calypso investigated marine life. He took care to avoid the wavy wall of Millepora, a coral 676 armed with stinging barbs.