In the wild west that was the shrimp farming industry in Ecuador back in the 1980’s shrimp seed was from the wild.
Going into mangrove swamps with large amount of $$, radio communications and guns was quite common.
I was packing an MP-9 in 1984 and around $10,000 in cash one evening. Full moon was on and night work was better for buying in the mangroves – cooler. Went to the local whore house as it was the first place in town with beer after the roads had been washed away by the El Niño of 1982-3. Military had curfew and we knew they would be coming to check at 10:00. But they came early!
Everyone was being revised coming out of the cat house and when my bag was checked, oops, awkward moment. Two soldiers stuck guns into my belly and called over the boss.
Did I have a licence? No! What was I doing with a sub-machine gun? Working in shrimp! Perhaps I could help the local military with their shrimp farming? Of course!
With conscription thousands of recruits were building shrimp ponds for the Ecuadorian military. Cheaper than using Caterpillar bulldozers – hahaha.
Could I help with some technical guidance? Of course I spent time helping the Ecuadorian military develop their shrimp farms.