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Gulf of Cassis

The Gulf of Cassis is a bay of water that sits beside Saumart and comes from the Northern Sea.  

Properties

The Gulf of Cassis has a strange current that passes through it. This current's exact reaches are unknown, but they are far enough to reach every large, connecting body of water. This is known because fish from all over the world can be found within the Gulf of Cassis, despite its location not being near any of these fishing locales.   The exotic fish that the Gulf of Cassis is known for are far too numerous to name. Entire encyclopedias have been dedicated to cataloging the aquatic residents of Saumart's number 1 fishing destination, and those stack nearly as long as some Holy Texts (and have just as many avid readers).   The water in the Gulf of Cassis itself is strangely well-suited to housing fish of all sorts. It has a mixture of salt and fresh water that has confounded even the most well-learned Water Mages, as the waters don't mix. Instead, patches of salt water and patches of fresh water simply sit beside each other, allowing their fish residents to live alongside each other.  

Tourism

The Gulf of Cassis is the most popular location in the world to fish at. It is one of the main draws of Saumart, to take a boat out into the Gulf and catch a fish you'd never be able to see because it comes from across the world.   During big fishing seasons like the summer, it is difficult to get through the water or even find a spot to fish. This is due to the absurd traffic of people who fish in the Gulf of Cassis, and their boats begin to clog up the water and make it impossible to get through. This is not just made up of tourists, of course, but the locals are more likely to know the way and how to not get in the way of others.

The Old Fisherwoman

A legend exists about the Gulf of Cassis, and a woman named Mata Mimmar.   It is said that Mata was a young woman who lived in Saumart. She got on a boat to go on a fishing trip, but was swept far into the Gulf of Cassis, where no one else would go searching.   For years she lived on that boat, surviving only off of fish that she found within the Gulf of Cassis. She always had a different meal, and she cooked it by lighting part of her wooden boat on fire and wetting the surrounding planks with seawater so it wouldn't spread.   By the time she returned to Saumart, she was old and grey. Few residents knew her name, and those that did hardly recognized her. Though she was old, she was still healthy and strong, and lived a long life even after returning. The story is meant to show the abundance of fish within the Gulf of Cassis, and that it would be quite easy for someone to live only off of its fish.

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Other than that, it's always a nice trip to take a boat out to catch a fish in the Gulf.  

Fishing

Saumart's greatest export is its fish, caught within the Gulf of Cassis. Due to this, fishing is its largest profession, and many of its residents go out into the Gulf on a weekly if not daily basis.   Markets in Saumart reek of fish, with there being more stalls in Saumart of fish from the Gulf than there are every other type of stall combined.   Saumart's prominence as a city comes from its reliance on the Gulf of Cassis and its fish. The mayor of Saumart once said of it,
"If one were to skin a fish and leave only its bones, one would find the bones of what is called a dorsal fin. To put that in plainer terms for those that aren't fishermen and fisherwomen, a dorsal fin is the backbone. And the Gulf of Cassis is the dorsal fin of Saumart. Without it, we would be unable to stay afloat and unable to move forwards. With it, we prosper."
  Ortoise, the military city of Humans that lies North of the Gulf, also sometimes fishes in the Gulf of Cassis, though it is rarer because of their distance to the body of water. Triton will occasionally swim to the Gulf to get a good meal, be it a fish or fisherman.  

Overfishing

There have been a few times in history where the Gulf has been blocked off. This is because, due to the importance it holds to residents and tourists who fish in it, the Gulf has twice been nearly run dry of its fish. If this were to happen, Saumart would quickly die.   So it was blocked off. The first of these times, no fish were caught in advance, and Saumart nearly died out. It was saved by the crops of farming villages like Aurilet, but was put in a massive debt that it repayed when the Gulf was opened again.   When it was blocked off the second time, they proceeded with caution, and saved fish to sell and eat. When the Gulf opened once again, they were not worse off as they were the last time. With the world becoming more interconnected, Saumart is not as easily dying, but the Gulf is.   Overfishing and bringing fish out to more global markets is rapidly depleting its supply of fish, and it is likely it will need to be closed off again in the near future. If this does not happen, it will take hundreds of years for the currents to naturally repopulate the Gulf.


Cover image: by jplenio

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