cormorant fishing japan
cormorant fishing is an old method of fishing that is now in several places in japan as a tourist attraction. we stumbled across it by accident seeing a sign that said 'boat trip' which we thought would be a good way to end the day. then we realised it was to watch cormorant fishing which we had no idea what it was! this was in arashiyama in kyoto following a visit to the bamboo grove. the fishing as you can see is in small boats with several cormorants on rope who have something round their neck to stop them swallowing the fish. a fire is held over the water to help them and the fishermen see. they then dive and catch fish and are pulled into the boat to spit their catch into a bucket. at the end they sit rather smugly on the end of the boat waiting for their supper when they get back. of course this is debated as to the cruelty to the birds. in terms of photography it was a real challenge as it was dusk turning to dark by the time the fishing was underway, and the action was pretty fast. but i was really pleased with some of the shots especially catching a couple of moments with the fish popping out of a bird's mouth. it was one of the most unusual things we saw.
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