Essay: Cormorant fishing

Based on table above focused the four changes that happened in the last 20 years at Li River, China that impact the community around there. The changes are cormorant fishing, occupation, education and shape of community. This changes show the differences of the Li River community of the last 20 years with the community now.
For the first changes is cormorant fishing. Around 960 AD, cormorant fishing has been practiced in China and Japan and nowadays it is largely used as a tourist attraction. Cormorant fishing which means the fishermen catch the fish using the cormorant birds. The most common Chinese cormorant bird is the Great Cormorant or the Common Cormorant or also known as the black cormorant. Moreover, Chinese fishermen committed so many trials and errors to train the cormorant birds to dive and catch fish.

Furthermore, cormorant fishing is a dying art. Fishermen have used trained cormorants to catch fish at the rivers and lakes of China. For information, firstly the fishermen ties a snare near the base of the bird’s throat which effectively prevents it’s from swallowing larger fish, although the birds can still swallow some of smaller fish. The fisherman brings the bird back to the boat and has it spit the fish up onto the bamboo deck when a cormorant catches the fish.

For the last 20 years, cormorant fishing as known as source of income for the community at the Li River, China. Other than that, this traditional technique had been used because lack of technology and Chinese fishermen conceived the idea that cormorants can help them earn a living some day. The figure below shows the way that Chinese fishermen used the cormorant birds to catch the fish.

Today, there are only a handful of places in China where fishing with the help of cormorants is still practiced and even in Li River. The main purpose would seem not to be for the fishing but the value of entertainment that is offers to the tourist. Nowadays, cormorant fishing had been used as a tourist attraction. At the Li River, there have two elderly brothers have turned their profession into a showcase for tourists. Before this, the brothers Huang Yuechang and Huang Mingde have spent lifetime fishing with cormorants. Fishing with cormorants on the Li River near the city of Guilin which is the part of a special boat tour around Greater Guilin which is an absolute must for those interested in seeing the karst caves of the area and that includes a trip to the city’s main lakes which is Cedar Lake and Lake Banyan.

Occupation of the Li River community is a second changes whereas in the last 20 years basically all the community is worked as a full time fisherman that catches the fish using the cormorant birds. Today, they are no longer as a full time fisherman. Some of them still are a fisherman but only a part time cormorant fisherman. They will be a full time biologist working for the state as conservationists. Moreover, adapting to changing times, they have begun taking tourists out on their boat, demonstrating how the cormorants work and posing for pictures. With their new jobs now, they often earn more income than selling fish. Besides that, young people all over China moving away from traditional occupations to the occupations which offer at best the chance of eking out a minimum existence.

The third changes that happen in the last 20 years at Li River are about the education of the community. In the past years ago, the Li River communities not have the formal education which means they only focused on how to survive. Therefore, the children had learned the traditional technique of catch fish from their parents. So, the cormorant fishing is their family tradition since a long time ago. It is because the Government not support and gave chance to them at that time. Since there is no future in the livelihood of a cormorant fisherman, the parents wish for their children to take an education. Today’s youth are committed to progress of an education in the city and upon graduation and a high paying job in the new economy. However, there may be have a way to preserve the cormorant fishing tradition if it can be made to pay a comfortable income and especially if it can be combined with other, so it can be more challenging tasks that are integrally linked to the new economy.

The last changes is the shape of Li River community or which means the differences of how the way of community life. The community at Li River in past of 20 years ago is life independently that’s mean they are not depends on others as long as they can survive. Normally, the fisherman would live in a boathouse on the river itself. They would trade a portion of their daily gain of fish other villagers for their own basic needs because they said on the river there is no use for money.

Today, the cormorant fishermen went from being independent to being collectivized. For instance, the six families of cormorant fishermen got together and each family invested some money, then they organized to build like a small shareholder company. For information, there was nothing directly from the government, but they helped in procedures and gave land for free. Therefore, they said that collective arrangement is better than independent because now there are a lot of large groups of tourists.

So, the changes have the positive and negative impact that effect the community but basically the changes gave them more benefits and improve their life to be better than before. So, in our opinion, the changes are goods to Li River community even their cormorant fishing which is their tradition are not longer be a main source of their income. However, they still can practiced and protect their tradition of cormorant fishing as a their community symbol.


Source: Essay UK -

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