Coming upon a little village close to the sea, the heroes learn that something is not right in the local manufacture nearby. Several of the fishermen and workers working for it have vanished recently, the management denied any such reports.
1. It’s the Mafia - as the business is quite profitable, and many desire to work here, while competition from individual fishermen is fierce, the employers have gone a little criminal. Pushing people that don’t want to be pushed, the vanished folk are victims of retribution - sometimes from outsiders, sometimes from other employers that have families pushed hard upon, too. If there is bad blood between those hardened by the sea, actual blood will be spilled very soon.
2. The mermaid’s kiss - the latest upsurge in fishing has alarmed a local spirit of the sea, or any similar creature that fits. In anger, it has started attacking the local workers. It either wants to *insert random ecological talk*, or simply wants a cut, a sacrifice to make it cooperate.
3. Nothing again - only a red herring, the vanishings have normal or different causes, rumours bogus or spread by jealous villagers. The heroes will emerge unscathed and badly smelling of fish… unless they poke around too much in sensitive places, and provoke into life option number one or two.
The Mittle Fish has a very delicate meat, favoured by the upper class. It spoils very fast, therefore a quick preservation is necessary, typically by smoking and salting.
The most effective way of fishing is to herd a school into a square made of nets, with boats closing to each other, cutting off any chance of escape. While not easy to perform, the raw amount of meat is worth a fortune, if processed in time.
(The mittle fish can be freely substituted with tuna it is based on. Seen a report on TV today about one such manufacture owned by the old Phoenicians, and this came out of it.)