The Ancient Tradition of Fishing With Cormorants on China's River Li
All images used with permission of their authors Sitting quietly on a bamboo raft, with his birds at his side, the man listens to the gentle splashing as water laps at the side of his craft. The light of a flaming lantern illuminates the scene – in Guilin, in the Chinese province of Guangxi. Cormorant fishing is an age-old art practiced in China and Japan (as well as a few other countries) that is long past its glory days. Today, it exists largely due to the tourism industry, but is no less intriguing for that fact. Dressed in traditional clothing, the fisherman slowly paddles out to his chosen spot on Guangxi’s Li River, his raft lit by a single lantern that is suspended at one end of the craft. The light on the raft enables the man to see what he is doing but also serves to attract the fish. It's an interesting and intimate – if somewhat exploitative – relationship betwe...