Yesterday I wrote about Cotswold Water Park. One of the leisure activities on a neighbouring lake was fishing. Now, I don't know much about fishing (maybe the Jesus kind but not the Simon Peter kind) but I was fascinated to see the lake measured out in sections from which individuals fished. At the weekend there was a competition with all these sections full of fishermen (and yes they mostly were men), each with their bait, rod(s) and keep net. At the end of the day the judges went around adding up the catch. Now, in some ways this is easy fishing (I know that much), the lake is well stocked and that should make catching something possible. River or sea fishing is much harder. I well remember my father spending all night once fishing in the sea on a beach on the east coast and catching only an eel. It's a matter of sitting and waiting, and for me that is what fishing seems to be about, sitting and waiting. It's interesting that women don't seem to want (or have time!) to relax in the same way!
In Bangladesh young children have to go fishing everyday for shrimp fry in order to buy books and food for school. They also have to fetch drinking water for their family which can take up to three hours. Christian Aid provide local water collecting systems to alleviate the hardship. This is not fishing for pleasure, or having the luxury of sitting for hours waiting for a catch. This is about life and death. Today I am asked to give 10p for every bill I have paid this month, very difficult in the days of direct debit, however I may try and find out the current cost of fishing bait and give that instead.