Monday, November 17, 2008

Cormorant Fishing

In the river villages of China, there is a way of fishing that is both lovely, and not to SPCA standards.

Cormorant fishing is a way the fisherman is able to catch lots of fish, in rivers and lakes, where apparently the fish are too smart to take bait on a line and a net won't work because of the rocks. The You Tube link shows this being done graphically. I'll explain what we were told.

The fisherman raises the cormorants from being hatched from the egg. They become a part of the family and they are loved and cared for. They don't run away. Here's a picture of a fisherman's cormorant crew.
At night, the fisherman goes out with his crew and the cormorants skim the water and catch fish in their beaks and then bring the fish back to the fisherman. Now, here's the non-SPCA component: the fisherman ties a rope around the bird's neck so that it can only swallow little fish but not the big fish. This way, everyone gets fed!

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