Ukai--The Art of Fishing with Cormorants

(Photo: Japan Guide)

Ukai is the Japanese name for a traditional fishing practice used in east Asia. In ukai, the fisherman takes a cormorant bird and ties a loop around its neck. The loop lets the bird breathe and swallow small items. But it stops the bird from swallowing large fish.

The fisherman then pushes or throws the bird into the water. The bird hunts for fish and swallows a few. The fisherman reels in the bird and gets it to spit up its catch.

(Video Link)

In Japan, ukai is not practical compared to modern commercial fishing, so it's mostly done in grand spectacles to amuse tourists along the Nagaragawa, Hozu, and Uji Rivers.

(Photo: Richard Schatzberger)

In China, however, cormorant fishing can still be a practical means of acquiring food.

(Video Link)

And you can see why. These birds can catch big fish!

-via Amusing Planet

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