At the Pulau Mas fish cages, about a 45-minute boat ride from Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores in eastern Indonesia, modest wooden fishing boats about 12m in length pull up. One by one, they disgorge their sleep-deprived crew. Bleary-eyed and looking much older than their years after three nights at sea, they each proffer live bounty to be weighed, sold and stowed for a long trip, likely to a table in Hong Kong.
But while it is the peak of the fishing season, few boats land - just four over six hours. Those that do land have few fish. Only two of the six holding pens on this bobbing weigh station are in use - the temporary home of about 100 brilliant and meaty specimens struggling for cover when they are hauled to the surface for closer inspection.
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