• SENSEX
    NIFTY 50
Economy

Lobster divers risk injury, death in Honduras

Updated : December 26, 2018 11:36 AM IST

Saul Ronaldo Atiliano was diving for lobster in the clear waters off Honduras' Caribbean coast when he felt a pressure, a pain in his body. And he knew he'd gotten the sickness that has killed or disabled so many of his Miskito comrades."The pressure attacked me deep in the water," said Atiliano, a 45-year-old Miskito who for 25 years has dived for lobster, most of which winds up is exported to the United States. Thousands of men across the Mosquitia region of Honduras and Nicaragua depend on lobster fishing to eke out a living. And like Atiliano, hundreds have been stricken with the bends — decompression sickness caused when nitrogen bubbles form in divers' bodies. Some are paralyzed. Some are killed.

On Sept. 9, 2018,  a diver holds onto his catch of lobsters during a fishing journey in the Miskito coast near Cay Savannah, Honduras. A diver makes 75 lempiras ($3) per pound of lobster. An average 10-pound daily haul of lobster is a windfall for people in one of the most impoverished regions of the Americas, so many take the risk, and many suffer for it. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 9, 2018,  a diver holds onto his catch of lobsters during a fishing journey in the Miskito coast near Cay Savannah, Honduras. A diver makes 75 lempiras ($3) per pound of lobster. An average 10-pound daily haul of lobster is a windfall for people in one of the most impoverished regions of the Americas, so many take the risk, and many suffer for it. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 10, 2018, Miskito divers play a game of cards on a ship's stern as they are transported home after a two week fishing trip, near Savannah Cay, Honduras. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 10, 2018, Miskito divers play a game of cards on a ship's stern as they are transported home after a two week fishing trip, near Savannah Cay, Honduras. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 9, 2018, a worker cleans a batch of lobsters near Cay Savannah, Honduras. After the lobsters are cleaned they are stored in the ship's large freezers. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 9, 2018, a worker cleans a batch of lobsters near Cay Savannah, Honduras. After the lobsters are cleaned they are stored in the ship's large freezers. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 9, 2018, a man takes a nap inside a makeshift restaurant in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. With more than 60 per cent of its 9 million population living in poverty, Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, and the Mosquitia is one of the most impoverished areas. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 9, 2018, a man takes a nap inside a makeshift restaurant in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. With more than 60 per cent of its 9 million population living in poverty, Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, and the Mosquitia is one of the most impoverished areas. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
The photo shows palm trees as the day begins to break in Irlaya, Honduras. With more than 60 per cent of its 9 million population living in poverty, Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, and the Mosquitia is one of the most impoverished areas. (Photo taken on Sept 4)  (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
The photo shows palm trees as the day begins to break in Irlaya, Honduras. With more than 60 per cent of its 9 million population living in poverty, Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, and the Mosquitia is one of the most impoverished areas. (Photo taken on Sept 4)  (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Jan 31, 2018, 28-year-old lobster diver Charles
On Jan 31, 2018, 28-year-old lobster diver Charles "Charly" Melendez puts his hands over his face in frustration as he comes to terms with having to rely on a wheelchair to get around, in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. For a man who always made his living diving, it's a nightmare being confined to a wheelchair. "I still can't stand up by myself," he said. "I can't sit for a long time; after an hour my body hurts." (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 10, 2018, Miskito fishermen push a boat onto the shore on Savannah Cay, Honduras, at the end of a fishing trip. Thousands of men across the Mosquitia region of Honduras and Nicaragua depend on lobster and sea cucumber fishing to ease poverty. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 10, 2018, Miskito fishermen push a boat onto the shore on Savannah Cay, Honduras, at the end of a fishing trip. Thousands of men across the Mosquitia region of Honduras and Nicaragua depend on lobster and sea cucumber fishing to ease poverty. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 1, 2018, a man bathes in a mangrove swamp in Irlaya, Honduras. Among exotic, tropical vegetation along the Caribbean coast, the Mosquitia region is sprinkled with small fishing villages where residents live in clapboard houses, most with no indoor bathrooms. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 1, 2018, a man bathes in a mangrove swamp in Irlaya, Honduras. Among exotic, tropical vegetation along the Caribbean coast, the Mosquitia region is sprinkled with small fishing villages where residents live in clapboard houses, most with no indoor bathrooms. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 10, 2018, Miskito divers wait to board a boat for a two week fishing trip to harvest sea cucumbers, in Krata, Honduras. Thousands of men across the Mosquitia region of Honduras and Nicaragua depend on lobster and sea cucumber fishing to ease poverty. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 10, 2018, Miskito divers wait to board a boat for a two week fishing trip to harvest sea cucumbers, in Krata, Honduras. Thousands of men across the Mosquitia region of Honduras and Nicaragua depend on lobster and sea cucumber fishing to ease poverty. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb 1, 2018, Angel Ponce takes a swig of rum, in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. Among exotic, tropical vegetation along the Caribbean coast, the Mosquitia region is sprinkled with small fishing villages. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb 1, 2018, Angel Ponce takes a swig of rum, in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. Among exotic, tropical vegetation along the Caribbean coast, the Mosquitia region is sprinkled with small fishing villages. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 11, 2018, Elvira Mendoza Espinosa, hits a diving tank with a hammer announcing the start of the morning Mass, outside the Moravian church in Kaukira, Honduras. In the Mosquitia, diving permeates everyday life, as it does in Kaukira, one of the villages on the Mosquitia. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 11, 2018, Elvira Mendoza Espinosa, hits a diving tank with a hammer announcing the start of the morning Mass, outside the Moravian church in Kaukira, Honduras. In the Mosquitia, diving permeates everyday life, as it does in Kaukira, one of the villages on the Mosquitia. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 10, 2018, evangelical pastors preach to inmates inside a prison in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 10, 2018, evangelical pastors preach to inmates inside a prison in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Jan. 30, 2018, Miskito diver Charles
On Jan. 30, 2018, Miskito diver Charles "Charly" Melendez, 28, is carried by his 10-year-old son Jason and wife Kenia from their rented room along the shore in Puerto Lempira, Honduras, to a smoother ground for his wheelchair. Melendez said he been diving since he was 16 and had harvested 60 pounds of lobster on the day he was left paralyzed by decompression sickness. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 9, 2018, paralyzed by decompression sickness, lobster diver Misael Banegas Diaz, 49, is lifted by physical therapist Cedrak Waldan Mendoza into a hyperbaric chamber at the hospital in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. Waldan Mendoza said the divers are driven by poverty, and even if injured, they return to the boats.
On Feb. 9, 2018, paralyzed by decompression sickness, lobster diver Misael Banegas Diaz, 49, is lifted by physical therapist Cedrak Waldan Mendoza into a hyperbaric chamber at the hospital in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. Waldan Mendoza said the divers are driven by poverty, and even if injured, they return to the boats. "You run into them in the street and ask them why they're going (back to diving) and they say it's because their kids are hungry." (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 5, 2018, supervised by a Honduran Army soldier, students practice their routine they plan to perform in an independence military parade, in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 5, 2018, supervised by a Honduran Army soldier, students practice their routine they plan to perform in an independence military parade, in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 6, 2018, children hold onto to their crafted toy trucks from plastic juice boxes with lids for wheels, in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. A sign of the poverty, boys craft toys from recycled material. For grown-ups, the only option they've found to deal with poverty is diving, no matter the risks. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 6, 2018, children hold onto to their crafted toy trucks from plastic juice boxes with lids for wheels, in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. A sign of the poverty, boys craft toys from recycled material. For grown-ups, the only option they've found to deal with poverty is diving, no matter the risks. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Jan 31, 2018, paralyzed by decompression sickness in 2017, lobster diver Charles
On Jan 31, 2018, paralyzed by decompression sickness in 2017, lobster diver Charles "Charly" Melendez, 28, stares at the ceiling lying on the floorboards of a rented room surrounded by his children, in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. Even now, after nine sessions of a high-pressure, oxygen-rich hyperbaric chamber, he hasn't recovered. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 7, 2018, Miskito divers stricken with decompression sickness climb into a hyperbaric chamber at the hospital in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. Standard diving techniques call for a gradual ascent to the surface to eliminate the nitrogen that the body's tissues absorb during a dive. But many of the divers of Mosquitia dive deeply, surface quickly and then go back for more, racing to collect as much lobster as possible. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 7, 2018, Miskito divers stricken with decompression sickness climb into a hyperbaric chamber at the hospital in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. Standard diving techniques call for a gradual ascent to the surface to eliminate the nitrogen that the body's tissues absorb during a dive. But many of the divers of Mosquitia dive deeply, surface quickly and then go back for more, racing to collect as much lobster as possible. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 2, 2018, relatives and friends carry the coffin that contains the remains of Miskito diver Oscar Salomon Charly, 31, to be transported via a boat to a nearby cemetery, in Cabo Gracias a Dios, Nicaragua Charly died in Honduras after suffering a severe case of decompression sickness, (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 2, 2018, relatives and friends carry the coffin that contains the remains of Miskito diver Oscar Salomon Charly, 31, to be transported via a boat to a nearby cemetery, in Cabo Gracias a Dios, Nicaragua Charly died in Honduras after suffering a severe case of decompression sickness, (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 2, 2018, Sonia Wills, left, accompanied by relatives, mourns over the coffin that contains the remains of her 31-year-old son Miskito diver Oscar Salomon Charly, during a wake in her home in Cabo Gracias a Dios, Nicaragua. Thousands of men across the Mosquitia region of Honduras and Nicaragua depend on lobster fishing to ease poverty, and hundreds have been stricken with the bends. Some end up paralyzed. Some killed. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 2, 2018, Sonia Wills, left, accompanied by relatives, mourns over the coffin that contains the remains of her 31-year-old son Miskito diver Oscar Salomon Charly, during a wake in her home in Cabo Gracias a Dios, Nicaragua. Thousands of men across the Mosquitia region of Honduras and Nicaragua depend on lobster fishing to ease poverty, and hundreds have been stricken with the bends. Some end up paralyzed. Some killed. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Jan. 27, 2018, women package frozen lobsters to export to the US, in a factory in La Ceiba, Honduras. The lobster industry, which generated $40 million in sales for Honduras in 2017, nearly all of it for the U.S. market. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Jan. 27, 2018, women package frozen lobsters to export to the US, in a factory in La Ceiba, Honduras. The lobster industry, which generated $40 million in sales for Honduras in 2017, nearly all of it for the U.S. market. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 1, 2018, men ride past on their horses, in Irlaya, Honduras. Among exotic, tropical vegetation along the Caribbean coast, the Mosquitia region is sprinkled with small fishing villages where residents live in clapboard houses.. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 1, 2018, men ride past on their horses, in Irlaya, Honduras. Among exotic, tropical vegetation along the Caribbean coast, the Mosquitia region is sprinkled with small fishing villages where residents live in clapboard houses.. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 6, 2018, Charles Melendez, 5, and his 4-year-old brother Jefferson, play with their father's wheelchair while he rests, in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. The boys' father, a lobster diver, is recovering from decompression sickness which has left him paralyzed from the waist down. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Feb. 6, 2018, Charles Melendez, 5, and his 4-year-old brother Jefferson, play with their father's wheelchair while he rests, in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. The boys' father, a lobster diver, is recovering from decompression sickness which has left him paralyzed from the waist down. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 2, 2018, dogs eat scraps left by family and friends attending the funeral of Miskito diver Oscar Salomon Charly, in Cabo Gracias a Dios, Nicaragua. The 31-year-old, who was diving for lobster in Honduras, died after he was stricken with a severe case of decompression sickness. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 2, 2018, dogs eat scraps left by family and friends attending the funeral of Miskito diver Oscar Salomon Charly, in Cabo Gracias a Dios, Nicaragua. The 31-year-old, who was diving for lobster in Honduras, died after he was stricken with a severe case of decompression sickness. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 10, 2018, a diver prepares to plunge into Caribbean waters in the Miskito coast, near Cay Savannah, Honduras, in search of sea cucumbers under a heavy rain. A diver, who makes seven lempiras or about 28 U.S. cents per sea cucumber, will catch anywhere between 10 and 30 in a day. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 10, 2018, a diver prepares to plunge into Caribbean waters in the Miskito coast, near Cay Savannah, Honduras, in search of sea cucumbers under a heavy rain. A diver, who makes seven lempiras or about 28 U.S. cents per sea cucumber, will catch anywhere between 10 and 30 in a day. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 9, 2018, Rudy Emus Alfred, 19, dives for sea cucumbers near Cay Savannah, in the Miskito coast, Honduras. According to Miskito mythology, the mermaid Liwa Mairin punishes divers who over harvest from the sea with what divers call
On Sept. 9, 2018, Rudy Emus Alfred, 19, dives for sea cucumbers near Cay Savannah, in the Miskito coast, Honduras. According to Miskito mythology, the mermaid Liwa Mairin punishes divers who over harvest from the sea with what divers call "el golpe" or "fracasar", also known as the bends. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 9, 2018, Miskito divers eat a breakfast of rice, beans and bananas before the start of their work day, in Cay Savannah, Honduras. When not in Caribbean waters the divers are lodged in a small wooden house provided by the boat owners. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 9, 2018, Miskito divers eat a breakfast of rice, beans and bananas before the start of their work day, in Cay Savannah, Honduras. When not in Caribbean waters the divers are lodged in a small wooden house provided by the boat owners. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 4, 2018,, diver Saul Ronaldo Atiliano, 45, is lifted onto the dock after traveling via boat to Puerto Lempira, Honduras, to receive decompression sickness therapy in a hyperbaric chamber.
On Sept. 4, 2018,, diver Saul Ronaldo Atiliano, 45, is lifted onto the dock after traveling via boat to Puerto Lempira, Honduras, to receive decompression sickness therapy in a hyperbaric chamber. "The pressure attacked me deep in the water," said Atiliano, who for 25 years has dived for lobster, most of which winds up in the United States. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 11, 2018, Miskito divers sleep on hammocks on their last night of a 13-day fishing trip, surrounded by empty oxygen tanks, left, and their catch of sea cucumbers, right lower corner, as they are transported from Cay Savannah to Kaukira, Honduras. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
On Sept. 11, 2018, Miskito divers sleep on hammocks on their last night of a 13-day fishing trip, surrounded by empty oxygen tanks, left, and their catch of sea cucumbers, right lower corner, as they are transported from Cay Savannah to Kaukira, Honduras. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Published : December 26, 2018 11:36 AM IST
Live TV

recommended for you

Ask Our Experts CNBC TV18

Advertisement