(Pouheva Village, NE Makemo, Tuamotus, French Polynesia)
We’ve been in Makemo for four days now, which means Gregory and Matt have about eight dives to report in the pass. The reason for daily double dives? Besides the regular fishing obsession I mean, is an unchecked fixation on the esteemed dogtooth tuna. A spearfisherman’s dream, prize, and all around glory; the dogtooth tuna is the only tuna that can be found sauntering around reef ledges. Their large size and barracuda teeth make for one great trophy photo. And to top it off, they’re excellent eating.
Gregory and Matt return time after time with no catch to show, but some jubilant story about simply being near one of these famed fish. How one looked right at him or another cruised by the flasher they had previously set. It’s a funny relationship built on so much respect and awe. Though given the right chance, the boys would shoot a metal spear straight through their subject of unbridled admiration.
Now I’m not making fun. I’m probably also not coming anywhere near properly conveying the seriousness and excitement of this daily ritual. I mean, we’ve done a couple other things since being here, but dogtooth tuna are the end all and be all of our time in Makemo.
Good reason too, because they were a complete surprise. Prior to coming here Gregory thought that dogtooth tuna could only be found in the Indo Pacific and the Indian Ocean. A fact I knew as well, because every time we trace possible routes around our trusty world map, there’s always a lengthy pause over Madagascar to inform me once again of the illustrious and coveted dogtooth tuna.