Chinese have learnt to use any and all available means and resources at their disposal to their benefit. They work hard and find ways to do it in such a unique manner that it might baffle people and also defy conventional methods. For example, they have trained birds to fish for them. Not any bird but the cormorant which has a unique natural capacity to store its catch in a pouch on its throat so that it does not swallow it. The fishermen have utilized this method to make a living by catching more fish than they ordinarily would be able to.
Chinese Fishermen Train Birds to Fish and Birds are the Fishermen in China
It is said that if you teach a man how to fish, you will feed him for a lifetime. True as this adage might be for everyone, but somehow the Chinese psyche defies it. When it comes to the China and its people, their enterprising spirit, consistency and persistence are such that they go on to expand on every feasible idea. This century has seen this country emerge as one of the biggest economies in the world. China travel and China tour are increasingly becoming a first choice for many travelers and students who seek to explore or study overseas. Mandarin is one of the most sought after languages in the world that pulls in thousands of students to China for Study abroad.
Going back to our first example of teaching a bird how to fish, this is a method that Chinese people have honed over years. Chinese fishermen have trained birds to fish for them and once again this is an idea that is thoroughly original. Chinese use the cormorant birds to fish; these birds are three feet in height and are known to feed on normal fish and shell fish. These aquatic birds have webbed feet, a long neck and a hooked beak that make them skilful fish hunters. They have the unique ability to collect food in a pouch in their throat. This pouch is made of dilatable skin. The Chinese fishermen realized the usefulness of these birds more than four hundred years back. They found that the physiology of the bird could be used to their benefit and they started to domesticate and train the birds. It is not an easy process’ says one such fisherman who has been using the birds for fishing for generations now.
The fishermen take these birds to the fishing areas and put rings around their neck. This ring prevents the birds from swallowing the fish they catch. They dive and chase their prey, catch it and store it in the pouch under its beak because the ring does not allow them to swallow. When the pouches get filled, the fishermen take the fish out of them and let the birds continue fishing. It is said that one cormorant bird can catch up to fifteen kilograms of fish every day. After being trained the birds get extremely adept at catching various sorts of fish which include perch, pike, eels, trout, bass, zander and more.
A lot of fishermen have domesticated cormorants that have been bred by them in the absence of the parent bird. They look for fresh eggs of the birds and use home hens to sit on them and hatch them. This technique ensures that all birds available can be used for fishing.
It is a possibility that future study abroad programs in China can incorporate cormorant fishing in their itinerary as it has now gained popularity in many countries and has also generated considerable interest. Students will not only learn Mandarin but will get to understand Chinese culture at a greater depth.