The Cormorant Fisherman


Xingping, China

A fisherman demonstrates the dying art of using cormorant birds to catch fish on the Li River. The 1,000 year old tradition dates back to 960 A.D. and is scarcely used anymore except by a select few fishermen.
The fishermen send the cormorants into the water to catch fish and bring them back into the boat. To ensure the birds do not swallow all of the fish, a snare string is attached to the bird’s neck, stopping the cormorant from eating the larger fish. The cormorant is trained to return to the boat and spit the larger fish out for the fisherman. To keep the birds happy, the fishermen reward their birds with feeding them the smaller fish that were caught.

I’m also proud to say the casting net photo above made Nat Geo Editor’s Favorite for the “Epic” Assignment.

The Cormorant Fisherman


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