Are cormorants used for fishing in China?

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.

Are there cormorants in China?

There are several species of cormorants in the world. Other smaller cormorants are also found in Japan and China. But the cormorant used for fishing is the Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo.

How are cormorants used for fishing?

Each cormorant is first leashed around the neck and then released to dive into the water. If the bird makes a catch, it’s then scooped up, and the fisher pulls the fish from the bird’s mouth.

Where can I see cormorant fishing in Japan?

Ukai (cormorant fishing) is a traditional technique of catching river fish with the help of cormorants. Three rivers in Japan are said to be preserving this old custom – Nagara River in Gifu, Hiji River in Ehime and Mikuma River in Oita.

What birds do the Chinese use for fishing?

Cormorant fishing is a traditional fishing technique in which fishermen use trained cormorants to catch fish in rivers. Historically, cormorant fishing has taken place in Japan and China, as well as Greece, North Macedonia, and briefly, England and France.

How big of a fish can a cormorant eat?

Large flocks of cormorants, sometimes numbering more than a thousand, can descend on lakes, rivers or fish farms with devastating results. Studies have confirmed that these birds can eat one to one-and-a-half pounds of fish per bird per day.

What birds that help Chinese farmers?

As the rice paddies are often used by the crested ibis for foraging, farmers also forgo pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Fresh data shows that the number of birds in Yangxian has reached 2,300. Nowhere else in the world can crested ibises be seen. Efforts to save the bird were also a win for the farmers.

When did cormorant fishing start?

It is first attested as a method used by the ancient Japanese in the Book of Sui, the official history of the Sui Dynasty of China, completed in 636 CE. Though cormorant fishing once was a successful enterprise, its primary use today is to serve the tourism industry.

What is Ukai in Japanese?

Ukai (鵜飼い) “Ukai” is one traditional fishing method used to catch ayu (sweetfish) by using a cormorant. In Japan, Ukai has been practiced in various places such as Gifu, Aichi, Kyoto, and Ehime Prefectures, among which especially Ukai in the Nagara-gawa River is the most famous one.

Is a cormorant a duck?

Cormorants are dark waterbirds about the size of a duck with long, crooked necks. Hooked beaks give them a prehistoric look. Bright orange patches stand out around blue-green eyes and the inside of their mouth is blue. During breeding season, two tufts of white feathers show over their eyes like an old man’s eyebrows.

Why are cormorants hated?

The double-crested cormorant, Phalocrocorax auritus , is a bird some people love to hate because of its sinister appearance and its presumed propensity to prey on beloved game fish.

Are cormorants edible?

Or serve them up as a delicacy, preferably roasted. Absolutely not, say the nature lovers, at least one waxing rhapsodic about the broad-winged birds.

What is cormorant fishing in China?

In Guilin, Guangxi, cormorant birds are famous for fishing on the shallow Lijiang River. Elsewhere in southern China, the Bai people have utilized cormorant fishing since the 9th century on the banks of Erhai Lake. Traditionally practised for sustenance, cormorant fishing is now primarily performed for tourists.

Where can I catch a cormorant?

Cormorant fishing. Chinese fisherman with one of his cormorants on Erhai Lake near Dali, Yunnan. The bird’s throat snare is visible via the constriction in the bird’s neck.

How much does a cormorant fish cost?

There the fish are especially cheap – seven pence a pound – so it is more efficient to transport birds over this huge distance, rather than feed them on local fish, which are ten times more expensive. The most efficient working period of a cormorant’s life is between the ages of five and ten.

What is the Japanese cormorant fish?

In Gifu, Japan, the Japanese cormorant ( P. capillatus) is used; Chinese fishermen often employ great cormorants ( P. carbo ). Darters ( anhinga ), which are very close relatives of cormorants, are also used for this fishing technique on occasion.