Fishermen of Abu Dhabi


Expatriate fishermen from Mumbai, India come to work in Mina Port in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Most fishermen find expatriate work in Abu Dhabi to send money back to other family members in Mumbai. Five fishermen at a time are assigned to work on a wooden fishing boat – often going out to sea for four days at a time. Rough weather during the winter can pose hazardous conditions to the expatriates. And rising operational and equipment costs, declining fish stocks, and the risk of small catches strain each family of fishermen.


At Mina Port in Abu Dhabi, UAE, an expatriate fisherman lays out his prize catch for auctioning at the daily fish market. 


Denish Tandel, a 24 year old fisherman, prepares his father's boat before going out to sea. The 240 horsepower, 6 cylinder engine is oiled and prepped. Denish leaves Mina Port to fish for four days. The weather is rough and he is worried about large waves and capsizing.


Denish walks from his boat to the housing complex owned by the fish market after four days out at sea. 


Denish and his father, Eddy Krishna, sit down for a meal of freshly caught fish and rice.


In his free time, Denish uses Facebook to catch up with family in Mumbai. His younger brother is currently studying at a university back home.


A freshly caught shark is auctioned off. 


Dinner is prepped on the wooden trawler.


The wooden fishing boat is docked for the night and prepped for the next few days of fishing.


Denish hangs out with his friends during their evenings off. 


Eddy Krishna is the captain of the wooden trawler, but an Emirati owns the boat. The owner claims half of what the five fishermen catch out at sea. Rising operational and equipment costs worry Eddy Krishna.


Denish sits in the pilot house of his boat and home.


An Emirati auctions off a shark at 5 in the morning. 


Dinner and party boats light up the Mina Port at night.