Galapagos: all the fun of the fish market

at Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Galapagos: all the fun of the fish market
8th January 2017 Jane Tomlinson

evolution-bookWhen I was just 3 years old, my father (who was a scientist) would sit me on his knee and show me and talk about the pictures in a book called Evolution (which I still have) published in 1964 by Time/Life Nature Library. On the cover was a photo of a marine iguana. I have dreamed of visiting Galapagos for 50 years.

In 2015, I fell from a horse and smashed my head. It took my brain some months to ‘reboot’ and I vowed that when I had recovered, I would move heaven and earth to somehow get us to Galapagos. We finally got there in December 2016. For anyone interested in the natural world and how it came to be as is it, a trip the Galapagos is the Holy Grail of All Trips. There are so many unique things about Galapagos: their isolation, the endemic species, and how the islands helped Charles Darwin see so clearly that natural selection – the ability of creatures of adapt to their environment – was the force that drives species to evolve.

Our first day in Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, took us to the fish market

Fisherfolk on Galapagos are (quite rightly) limited in what they can catch, how many they can catch and how they catch it. The local wildlife – of which there is a lot – hangs about the tiny fish market waiting for any free scraps.

Puerto Ayora Fish Market Galapagos

The pelicans are especially prominent and don’t worry about people at all. In the photo below you’ll also see a  Great Blue Heron, a couple of lava gulls and a couple of marine iguanas.

Pelicans at Puerto Ayora Fish Market Galapagos

As the fisherman prepared his catch – gutting and skinning the fish – a wild Galapagos sea lion waited patiently at the fisherman’s feet, like a well-trained dog….

Puerto Ayora Fish Market Galapagos

… until he was allowed to take the fish skin!

Puerto Ayora Fish Market Galapagos

And all the time, overhead soared scores of huge Magnificent Frigatebirds, waiting for their chance to swoop down an steal whatever they could. This is how they make their living, pirating the catch from other birds and animals.

Magnificent Frigatebird at Puerto Ayora Fish Market Galapagos

Here’s me waiting for the sea lion to reach up and take his prize.

Puerto Ayora Fish Market Galapagos

We returned to the fish market at least 4 times. It’s the place to be!