Fishing is something that is practiced by people from all over the world. As a hobby, as a sport and to supply food. Japanese Cormorant Fishing also known as Ukai is an art that has been practiced since ancient times. The Cormorant is a sea bird with a diet that consists mainly of fish. Like all other fish eating seabirds they are experts at fishing. The shape of their beaks is designed to make fishing easy. The Cormorant catches fish by waiting at the edge of a river or on the sea shore until prey is available. At exactly the right moment the Cormorant propels itself into the water to catch the fish.
Ukai fishing involves training Cormorants to work with fisherman. Fisherman keep and train flocks of Cormorants so that they can benefit from the natural skills of these birds. Cormorant fishing is not only practiced in Japan. Fishermen from Greece, China and The Republic Of Macedonia also train and fish with these talented birds.
This method of fishing is rare now because more convenient methods of fishing exist now. Traditional forms of Ukai are still practiced in some places.
Greeting cards featuring a photograph of cormorant fishing taken at China's Li River.