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Florida Keys News
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Sponge hunters
Navigating turbulent waters throughout the centuries

Manny Morales-Viera maneuvered his small skiff slowly in circles around the bay just off Key Haven on a recent calm day atop gin-clear waters.

He wore a harness attached to his waist, leaving his arms free to pluck sponges out of the water with a crude three-pronged metal claw attached to a long pole, the preferred method of spongers in the Florida Keys since the 1800s. It i...

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