As a defensive manoeuvre, the pufferfish has engorged on air and is now as round and taut as an orb. It has a rough, white underbelly mottled with tawny rivulets and more intense citrine and brown colouring around its head. Its eyes are creased, its mouth wet and puckered. It looks like a Year of the Pig souvenir.
With a spit bubble and sudden hiss, the pufferfish deflates a little. Then again: hiss, bubble. The fish deflates to sloppy jelly.
"Will you eat it?"
"I'll release it later," says the woman. She's protected against the Indonesian sun inside a red lumberjack shirt. She pokes the fish's squishiness, then drops it overboard. It floats like a buoy.