Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Asher Svidensky | The Yin-Bou Fishermen Of China

©Asher Svidensky-All Rights Reserved
I recently took part in judging Travel Photographer Asia photography contest, and one of the winning images was that of an elderly fisherman using the cormorant fishing technique, photographed by Magnus Brynestam.  While the cormorant fishermen with lanterns at dusk is a consistent favorite in such photographic contests, and has been photographed countless times, the judges saw it fit to award this photograph a place in the top five submissions.

Coincidentally, I chanced on Asher Svidensky's The Yin-Bou Fishermen which features gorgeous photographs of these fishermen, along with interesting information of this technique. It seems that during the 16th century, the unique technique of “Yin-Bou” fishing to the Li river of Xing-Ping village in South China.

Wikipedia tells us that the technique is prevalent in Guilin, where cormorant birds are famous for fishing on the shallow Lijiang River. To control these birds, fishermen tie a snare near the base of the bird's throat. This prevents the birds from swallowing larger fish, which are held in their throat and brought back to the fishermen.Though cormorant fishing once was a successful industry, its primary use today is to serve the tourism industry.

Asher Svidensky is a freelance photographer with a strong passion for documentary and storytelling.
Conscripted into the Israeli military in 2009, he served as a photographer. His photographs have been published in magazines and newspapers around the world, including the BBC, National Geographic, The Times Newspaper, Metro Newspaper, GEO, AD (Netherlands) and more. In 2014 he also had the privilege of giving a TEDx talk.