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Cormorant Fishing

Cormorant Fishing

Cormorants are large, long-necked, dark-colored birds that live near sea coasts and eat fish. They have a protruded pouch that holds fish, thus, it is used in Asia to catch fish. Cormorant fishing is a unique way of fishing in south China, particularly along the Li River. This way of fishing has been used for more than a thousand years. After being trained by fishers, the birds can fish better at night than daytime.

While touring at night people can often see lights on bamboo rafts in the Li River. It is the fisher using cormorants to fish. The fisher tie the cormorant’s neck loosely allowing it the to only swallow small fish but not big fish. When the cormorant catches a fish the fish is caught in the throat. The fish can neither go leave or be swallowed. The cormorant will return to the fishers bamboo raft to remove the fish from its throat. Each time the cormorant catches a fish the fisher will feed the cormorant some small fish to award them. Then, the fisher will put the cormorants back in the water to continue fishing

You are welcome to take a bamboo raft to see cormorant fishing at night, which is an interesting but normal activity in Yangshuo County or Guilin City. The fishers row slowly on a bamboo raft with several well-trained cormorants. You will be delighted to watch the process of traditional fishing.