– photo and story by Tommy Trenchard, a freelance photographer and writer
In Malaysia, live a group of people called the Bajau, who take free diving to the extreme. Nicknamed ‘sea-nomads’ they can stay underwater for as long as 13 minutes at depths of around 200 feet, fishing with self made spearguns.
“35 year old Dafrin Ambotang, a Bajau fisherman, dives for fish in the bay of Tomini, Indonesia. For the last few hundred years the Bajau, who are often referred to as sea-gypsies or sea-nomads, have lived almost entirely at sea, roaming the coral triangle between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, rarely setting foot on land. But in the last few decades amid falling fish stocks and government pressure, the Bajau have almost all migrated to coastal villages, where they are trying to adapt to a land-based existence whilst holding onto their unique knowledge of and prowess in the sea. Dafrin, like many Bajau, can dive to over thirty metres and hold his breath for several minutes at a time as he hunts for fish.”
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