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Cormorant fishing threatened by lack of heirs  



2012-08-29 13:20     Web Editor: guliping comment

Shangrao (CNS) -- Residents of Fenggang Village next to Poyang Lake, China's largest freshwater lake in Jiangxi Province, are known for the folk custom of raising and training cormorants for fishing, a practice that dates back thousands of years.

Fu Hongbin, 33, is a seventh generation cormorant fisherman. He says that in the past, local families relied so heavily on cormorants that they would be deeply affected by the loss of the animals. 

Cormorants are faithful companions to fishermen, but it is not easy to train them. The intonations and rhythms used to communicate with the birds represent a wide range of meanings, and vary greatly from family to family.

Cormorant fishing is unique to the water villages in south China and a perfect combination of humans and nature, says Xu Hongzhi, who works for the local culture office.

However, with fewer heirs and the invasion of modern machines, the traditional skill is endangered, Xu adds.

Xu says he hopes the government will establish a preserve for cormorant fishing beside Poyang Lake.


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