This Murmansk fisherman has snagged a vast social-media following by photographing fearsome creatures of the deep.
Roman Fedortsov is one of Russia's biggest Instagram stars. But he's unlikely to be recognized in public, or seen on land much at all. The veteran seafarer is currently bobbing somewhere in the Barents Sea on a three-month trawling expedition.
Fedortsov and his crewmates work netting shrimp and other familiar seafoods, but it's the weird, sometimes nightmarish bycatches that occasionally end up in his haul that have captured the attention of landlubbers around the world.
Fedortsov told RFE/RL his Instagram account, which now has more than 620,000 followers, started to take off in December 2016 after a news outlet in his hometown of Murmansk published an article with a handful of his photographs. The response was, he says, "an explosion" of interest in exactly what fascinated him -- the little-understood creatures that lurk in the black depths of the ocean.
While at sea, Fedortsov works shifts of six hours on duty, followed by six hours to relax. It's during that downtime the skillful amateur photographer uses his iPhone to document some of the creatures that end up in his nets.
Fedortsov also writes sometimes extensive captions that explain everything from the fish he photographs to advice on what to look for when buying tasty shrimp.
Fedortsov says he and his crew throw deep-sea bycatch like this back, but he admits the creatures "almost always die" due to the vast changes in pressure from being hauled up from hundreds of meters beneath the surface.
In 2017 the Russian used his social-media following to draw attention to what he calls some "stupid bastards" who recorded themselves tormenting a shark off the coast of the United States. "We fish to eat, not to mock. So I decided to distribute the video to find these sick people," Fedortsov says. Three Florida men were later identified and charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
Fedortsov says while his life at sea might look exciting when viewed through his Instagram feed, that is in part because he tries to find "the unusual in ordinary things." Some images show a glimpse of what is clearly a tough and dangerous job.
The Russian says his Instagram fame hasn't made much difference in his life, and he still needs to earn his living the hard way, out on the open sea for months at a time while his wife and young son await his return.
"Now I am not making use of my fame. Do you know what I look like? No! It's only a hobby," Fedortsov says. "I like to share photos of marine life with people. Especially with those who live far from the sea."