One of the most fascinating sights I’ve seen in China is Cormorant fishing. It’s is a traditional method of fishing where huge Cormorant birds are trained by the fisherman to do the fishing for them! Of course nowadays, there are many more efficient fishing methods so these are used to lure tourists to pay for a show. It was worth every penny I paid just to see these birds and fisherman having such a unique relationship!
The fisherman or rather fisherwoman in my case, rears and trains about 8 to 10 cormorant birds. The idea is simple, a string is used to tie around the base of the bird’s throat and when released they will dive into the water to hunt. Because their throats are tied, they can only swallow the small fishes while the large ones get stuck.
What really impressed me was the speed that these birds take to catch fishes. They dive underwater for no more than a few seconds and they are back on the boat. Even more amazing is when the fisherwoman removed the fishes that were stuck, there was not only one but 2 to 3 medium to large size fishes in the throat with just one quick dive! It was an absolutely brilliant way of fishing! Of course the birds being tamed do seem to enjoy working with the fisherwoman and after a hard’s day of work, would get rewarded as well.