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Sierra Leone’s Waters of Life

FREETOWN, Dec 26 2012 (IPS) - A coastal city, Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, is an area where people have relied on the ocean for food and employment for as long as they have lived there.

Despite the increasing threat of overfishing and depleted reserves, the waters remain relatively rich, and the source of income for tens of thousands. Large fish such as barracuda are the prize, but a bag of small shellfish dug from the sand of a low-tide can feed a family almost as well. Kelfala Wullarie, a fisherman from Freetown’s Aberdeen neighbourhood, emphasised the extent to which people rely on the water. “At times you catch small, at times you catch big,” he said. “You catch big, you eat.”

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