Catching Fish Using Birds: Images of a Dying Art

At The Atlantic, American documentary photographer  unveils a photo essay on the ancient yet dying Chinese art of cormorant fishing, featuring two elderly brothers who supplement their income from by demonstrating it for photographers:

Cormorant fishing is a dying . For thousands of years, fishermen have used trained cormorants to fish the rivers and lakes of China. The process is simple: The fisherman first ties a snare near the base of the bird’s throat, which effectively prevents them from swallowing larger fish, although they can still swallow some smaller fish. When a cormorant catches a fish, the fisherman then brings the bird back to the boat and has it spit the fish up onto the bamboo deck.

cormorantbrothers
The brothers wait patiently for the perfect light. (Michael Steverson)

[…] “Tourists are interested in seeing the traditional way of life here, such as fishing with cormorants and lanterns, and we are happy to keep the old ways alive while supporting ourselves.” It was a risk for the men to go it alone, but risk is the definition of entrepreneurship. So far, it has worked out well for the brothers Huang. [Source]

Click through for more photographs by Michael Steverson featured on CDT.

July 15, 2013 5:20 PM
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