Traditional collective fishing in Utheemu. Maldives, February 2014.
Traditional collective fishing in Utheemu. Maldives, February 2014.

In the Maldives, a spectacular fishing party

  Maldives - February 2014

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

A beach in the Maldives. Blinding sand, turquoise water. The whole village has gathered there, facing the sea. Nobody wants to miss this amazing traditional fishing party...

CLARIFICATIONS: in April 2014, I interrupted my series of articles on the MaldivesI found it difficult to continue to praise the beauties of this Indian Ocean archipelago (and thus to encourage people to go to the Maldives) when the regime had tightened its application of Sharia law, after my stay in February 2014. Not respecting human rights, the Maldives had to leave the Commonwealth of Nations in 2016. But in september 2018, things have changed, with the surprise defeat in the autocratic president's elections Abdulla Yameen supported by Islamists and now prosecuted for corruption, beaten by Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, an ally of the democratic camp. Then in april 2019, the party of Mohamed Nasheedformer president of the Maldives (2008-2012), several times imprisoned by the regime and main opposition figure, won the first legislative elections since Yameen left. The Maldives return to the path of democracyThis is great news!

Utheem Island

From my short stay in the Maldives in February 2014, I will keep an intense memory of this scene…

Traditional collective fishing in Utheemu. Maldives, February 2014.
The whole village of Utheemu joins forces to pull the fishing net out of the water (Maldives, February 2014)
Traditional collective fishing in Utheemu. Maldives, February 2014.
A spectacular scene, between the blinding white sand and the azure water (Maldives, February 2014)

We are on the small island of Utheem or Utheemu, in the extreme north of the archipelago. It is a "real island", where "real people" live, not one of those islands-hotels reserved for foreign tourists...

Contrary to what one reads everywhere, it is quite possible to stay in the Maldives among Maldivians as an independent traveler. In recent years, locals have been allowed to open mini-hotels, small guesthouses and guest houses, referred to as guesthouses. I live in one of these guesthouses, Asseyri Inn, on the nearby island of Hanimaadhoo. The Maldivian who runs the pension organized a small excursion for the day…

Luckily, we were in the right place at the right time to witness an event that doesn't happen so often. That day, in Utheem, the whole village gathered on the sand, facing the sea for a traditional fishing party, full of excitement and gaiety.

A video is worth ten thousand words... I let you discover below:

And then a picture is worth a thousand words too, so I add a few bonus photos below.

Please note that I am not the only one to immortalize the event. As traditional as it is, this fishing is an opportunity for all, especially the young men and women of the village and the neighboring islands, to draw smartphones and other modern image sensors... 😄

Traditional collective fishing in Utheemu. Maldives, February 2014.
Fish wriggle on white sand… (Utheem, Maldives, February 2014)


  Maldives - February 2014