PHOTO GALLERY: Fishermen of Copacabana beach

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In this Aug. 21, 2013 photo, fishermen and helpers gather before sunrise on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It's just another work day on the ocean for the four score men manning the two dozen vessels that head out to try their luck six days a week. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

In this Aug. 21, 2013 photo, fishermen and helpers gather before sunrise on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It’s just another work day on the ocean for the four score men manning the two dozen vessels that head out to try their luck six days a week. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Daybreak’s glow silhouettes the rainforest-covered mountains nearby while the Atlantic’s waters lap at cramped wooden fishing boats.

It’s another day at sea for the men who sail out six days a week to try their luck.

But this isn’t your average fishermen’s port. It’s Rio de Janeiro’s famed Copacabana beach, its sands forming a golden crescent at the edge of a densely populated neighborhood.

For as long as anybody can remember, the humble fishing boats have left almost every morning from one end of the sands, where they share space with scantily clad tourists on land and surfers on water.

Marcelo Botafogo has spent nearly three decades heading out from Copacabana beach, picking up his boat with the help of seven other men and tossing it into the water before most people have stirred from bed.

He says the fishing isn’t so good anymore. He doesn’t know exactly why. He tries not to think much about the fuller nets of yesteryear: “It makes me depressed.”

But Botafogo and dozens of others still head out at 5:30 a.m. and bring in their catch. It’s sold right where the boats land on a beachside stand, where residents buy the freshest fish in town and tourists stroll by, pausing to take snapshots.

Here’s a gallery of images of fishermen practicing their timeless tradition on Copacabana beach.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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