PUERTO LOPEZ


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Where the Pacific ends.

There is little to distinguish this small, dirt-road village on the coast of Ecuador. However during the early morning hours of the fishing season, the ramshackle town of Puerto Lopez becomes a frenzied place, boasting some of the best fishing on the Pacific coast. The ocean here is fabulously rich in marine life thanks to the Humboldt Current, which pulls nutrients off the ocean’s bottom through a process called upwelling, keeping the water full of plankton. A vibrant food chain develops with huge schools of small fish and finally ends in the ocean’s most spectacular species, massive marlin, tuna, sharks, and whales among others.

At dawn each morning, small boats make their way back from the deep waters of the ocean. A mad rush ensues amidst crewmen, fishmongers and all sorts of buyers, as well as pelicans, frigate birds and vultures, each trying to get their share of the day’s valuable catch. The best catches are carted away quickly, being cut, cleaned, weighted and sold on the spot.