A simple type of fishing net is the cast net, which consists of a circular net, with metal rings, or other heavy material, tied around the edge, and a rope to the centre. When the net hits the surface, the metal rings pull the outer part of the net towards the bottom, thus trapping the fish, which happen to be under it. Naturally, this method of fishing requires a lot of work, often with a meagre result. Three examples are shown below.
Fisherman, throwing his net into a pond, Angkor Thom, Cambodia. Domestic ducks are feeding in the foreground. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This fisherman throws his net into a lake at the outskirts of the great marsh area between rivers Euphrates and Tigris, southern Iraq. This interesting wetland is presented in detail on the pages Travel episodes – Iraq 1973: The hospitable mudir, and Iraq 1973: Dust storm and sheep’s head. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This fisherman is trying his luck in the Rapti River, southern Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Part of a flock of c. 1,500 Yelkouan shearwaters (Puffinus yelkouan) and 1,500-2,000 western yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis), feeding on sardines (Sardina pilchardus) in the Marmara Sea, Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fishermen, hauling boats or huge nets ashore from the sea, or cleaning nets, are very photogenic motives, which can (still) be encountered in various parts of the world.
Fishermen at work on Colva Beach, Goa, India, hauling a boat ashore (top), rinsing a huge net in the sea (second from above), hauling a huge net ashore (second from below), and admiring the catch (bottom). (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fishermen, mending their nets, Kavala, Greece. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
In southern Nepal, a huge marsh area is found along the great Kosi River. After a night’s catch in these marshes, fishermen are hanging up their nets to dry in the sun. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fishermen, hauling a huge net ashore, Hambantota, Sri Lanka. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fishermen, hauling a net into their boat, Lake Ashtamudi, Kerala, South India. This lake constitutes a part of a huge wetland, known as Kuttanad, or backwaters. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fishermen, cleaning a net, Padang Bai, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fisherman, hauling his boat through the surf, Hambantota, Sri Lanka. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fishermen, hauling in a large net, Sousse, Tunisia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The generic name of most cormorants, Phalacrocorax, is from the Greek phalakros (‘bald’) and korax (‘raven’), thus ‘the bald raven’, where bald refers to the white crown of great cormorant (P. carbo) during the breeding season. This bird has an extremely wide, but rather patchy, distribution, found all over Europe and most of Asia, in Australia and New Zealand, and in north-eastern North America and Greenland. In the 1800s, it was persecuted all over Europe, partly because it was competing with fishermen, partly because its guano destroyed the trees, in which it was breeding.
For thousands of years, fishermen on the Li River, Guangxi Province, southern China, have been using tamed great cormorants, belonging to the subspecies sinensis, for fishing. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), which is divided into five subspecies, is very common in most of North America, from the Aleutian Islands in the Bering Sea south to northern Mexico, and across the continent to eastern Canada, south to the Bahamas. The specific name auritus means ‘eared’ in Latin, which, like the common name double-crested, refers to its twin crests, one on each side of the head, during the breeding season.
Other species of cormorant are dealt with on the page Silhouettes.
This double-crested cormorant in Everglades National Park, Florida, has just caught a fish, grabbing it with its strong beak, which is equipped with a hook. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Tiny fishing vessel, Mordogan, Karaburun Peninsula, near Izmir, Turkey. Note the faded image of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, birth name Ali Rıza oğlu Mustafa (1881-1938), who was the founder of the Republic of Turkey and its first president 1923-1938. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Oyster farming, Xianxi, north of Lugang, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fishermen with their catch, consisting of sturgeons, Mian Kaleh sand spit, Caspian Sea, Iran. – Read more about this area on the page Travel episodes – Iran 1973: Car breakdown at the Caspian Sea. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Pelicans are huge water birds with an enormous bill and a very large gular pouch, which swells tremendously, when the bird is fishing – like some kind of basket. The tongue, however, is quite small, allowing the bird to swallow large fish.
Formerly, the eight extant species, which form a family of their own, Pelecanidae, were divided into two groups, one with four species, having mainly white adult plumage, the great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), the Dalmatian (P. crispus), the American white (P. erythrorhynchos), and the Australian (P. conspicillatus), and one, containing the remaining four species, having mainly grey or brown adult plumage, the pink-backed (P. rufescens), the spot-billed (P. philippensis), the brown (P. occidentalis), and the Peruvian (P. thagus).
However, recent DNA research has revealed that the five Old World species (great white, Dalmatian, pink-backed, spot-billed, and Australian) form one lineage, whereas the American white, the brown, and the Peruvian form another. The great white was the first to diverge from the common ancestor, which suggests that pelicans evolved in the Old World and later spread into the Americas.
Traditionally, pelicans were thought to be related to cormorants, darters, gannets, frigatebirds, and tropicbirds, but genetic research has shown that they form an order, Pelecaniformes, together with the shoebill (Balaeniceps rex), the hamerkop (Scopus umbretta), and herons. Hamerkop and a number of heron species are presented elsewhere on this page. (Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelican)
The great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) has a very wide distribution, breeding in south-eastern Europe and most of Africa, and thence eastwards to Kazakhstan and north-western India. It winters in a much larger area, eastwards to China and Indonesia, and south to Sri Lanka.
Black rain clouds are looming on the horizon, as late afternoon sunshine illuminates a group of preening great white pelicans, Lake Nakuru, Kenya. The pink mass in the background is a huge flock of lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Great white pelicans, resting near their breeding colony in Lake Kuş Gölü, north-western Turkey. A colony of great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) is also seen. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Preening great white pelicans, Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania. The picture also shows avocets (Recurvirostra avosetta) and African spoonbills (Platalea alba). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Great white pelicans, Lake Tana, Ethiopia. The bird to the left is an aberrant form, having a reddish plumage and being much smaller than its companions. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg
The spot-billed pelican (Pelecanus philippensis) is highly threatened, only found in scattered breeding colonies in India, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. The specific name philippensis refers to the Philippines, where the species was first collected. It was abundant here until the early 1900s, but became extinct as a breeding bird in the 1960s.
Spot-billed pelicans, landing in Lake Tissa Wewa, Sri Lanka. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The pink-backed pelican (Pelecanus rufescens) is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, and is also found along the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula. This species has a predominantly grey plumage, but the rump is pink, hence its name.
This pink-backed pelican was encountered in the Bangweulu Swamps, northern Zambia. – This interesting wetland is described on the page Countries and places: Bangweulu – where water meets the sky. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Pink-backed pelican, perched on a dead doum palm (Hyphaene thebaica), Fuloha Oasis, Ethiopia. – Pictures of this palm may be seen on the page Silhouettes. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
As a breeding bird, the American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) is widely distributed in the western half of the North American Continent, wintering in southern United States, Mexico, and Central America.
Soaring American white pelicans, Buffalo Bill Reservation, Wyoming, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
American white pelicans, Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, California. One bird shows its enormous gular pouch. To the left an immature bird with greyish head. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is widespread in the Americas, distributed along both coastlines, from Nova Scotia, Canada, south to the mouth of the Amazon River, and from British Columbia, Canada, south to northern Chile and the Galapagos Islands.
Brown pelicans, resting in a growth of red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), Everglades National Park, Florida. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Brown pelicans, resting on a coastal rock, Capo Matapalo, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
In former days, the Peruvian pelican (Pelecanus thagus) was regarded as a subspecies of the brown pelican, but today most authorities recognize it as a separate species, breeding along the west coast of South America, from Peru south to central Chile.
Portrait of a Peruvian pelican, Parque Nacional Pan de Azucar, Chile. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
These fishermen near La Caleta, Chile, are gutting fish, throwing the intestines to waiting Peruvian pelicans. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
For thousands of years, a huge marsh area in southern Iraq, between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, was the home of the Madan tribe, whose way of life was completely adapted to the wet habitat. They moved about in canoes, built their reed houses on islets, and made a living by hunting and fishing, growing rice, and raising water buffaloes.
The regime of Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (1979-2003) put an end to their way of life by draining the marshes, as a retaliation for the Madan siding with the Americans during the First Gulf War (1990-1991).
This interesting wetland is presented in detail on the pages Travel episodes – Iraq 1973: The hospitable mudir, and Iraq 1973: Dust storm and sheep’s head.
Madan tribal boys, fishing with a leister in the marshes of southern Iraq. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fish cages, Lake Batur, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Air-drying is an ancient method of preserving fish, in which the water in the fish evaporates, inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi.
Fish, drying on a scaffold, Ekkerøy, Varanger Peninsula, Norway. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Flat fish, drying on a wall, West-Friesland, Holland. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Another common method of preserving fish is to smoke them for a prolonged period of time, which also makes the water in them evaporate. The following four pictures are from the Baltic island of Bornholm, Denmark, which in former times held hundreds of smoke houses. Still today, a number of these have been preserved for the tourist industry, as smoked Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) is a local delicacy.
Smoke house in the town of Hasle, with an over-flying jet plane. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Herrings, ready to be smoked. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The smoking process. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Smoked herrings, placed outside the smoke house to dry a bit in the sun, before being sold. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fishing nets and poles, Tainan, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Angling is an immensely popular pastime around the world. The word angling is derived from angle, which stems from the 1500s, referring to a bent piece of iron, in this case a fish hook. On my travels around the world, I have often met with anglers of various types.
Anglers near San Francisco, California. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
A fishing vessel passes by an angler, trying his luck at the seashore, Fangliao, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Boy, angling for trout, Lake Isholsvatn, northern Iceland. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
In spring, huge shoals of sardines (Sardina pilchardus) and other fishes migrate through the Marmara Sea in Turkey. Every day, a large number of anglers gather on the Galata Bridge, which spans the Golden Horn, Istanbul. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Tim Fison and his two sons, Damien and Alastair, angling for sea trout (Salmo trutta) in Loch Hourn, Scotland. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This Burgher (a person of mixed Sinhalese and European descent) is angling in the sea at Yala National Park, Sri Lanka. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This boy proudly presents his catch, a perch (Perca fluviatilis), Jutland, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Angler on a beach near Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Bruddesta, Öland, Sweden, in evening light. This abandoned fishing village has been preserved as a museum, including huts, boats, and winches, the purpose of which was to haul the boats on land. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Colourful fishing boats, Fangliao, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This man is catching surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus) in the surf at Olympic Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington, United States, using a net, attached to a pole. In the foreground, glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) are waiting for tidbits. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The Unga is a Bantu people, who live on islands in the great Bangweulu Swamps, northern Zambia. Their main occupation is fishing, and they also grow manioc, or kassava (Manihot esculenta), besides collecting a number of wild plants, such as rhizomes of water-lilies (Nymphaea) and roots of papyrus (Cyperus papyrus). They also hunt birds and antelope.
Read more about this interesting wetland on the page Countries and places: Bangweulu – where water meets the sky.
Unga woman and children, catching fish in large baskets. The children drive shoals of small fish towards the woman, who scoops them up into the basket. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Every year, most Ungas spend several months in temporary fishing villages, far into the Bangweulu Swamps. These boys assist a man, removing the catch from a net. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Unga fisherman, hauling up his net. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This picture shows fish, drying on mats which are placed on a scaffold made from branches, in a temporary fishing camp. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Unga man, mending his fishing net. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Tiny, but well-equipped fishing boat, Sougia, Crete. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This fisherman in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, is emptying his canoe of water, using a buoy, cut in half. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fishing vessel near Shengang, western Taiwan. Loosely translated, the text on the boat means: ‘Bring in lots of fish, and you will make lots of money’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fishing boats with lamps, to lure fish at night, Kavala, Greece. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The Ifugao is one out of a dozen Malayan tribes, who inhabit northern Luzon, Philippines. At least 2,000 years ago, this people constructed fantastic terraced fields on the mountain slopes, irrigated through an advanced system of canals. On these terraces, they grow their main staple, rice, supplied with sweet potatoes, taro, and various vegetables. They also raise chickens and black pigs, and the men hunt wild animals in the jungle.
This Ifugao boy is catching fish with a small net in an inundated rice field near Banawe, Luzon. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fish trap, made from woven straw, Cape Kilwa, Tanzania. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
During the latest 50 years, the herring gull (Larus argentatus) has increased significantly as a breeding bird in European cities, placing its nest on top of high-rise buildings. Many of these gulls feed on offal from fishing vessels.
Other species of gull are presented on the page Nature: Urban nature.
Herring gulls, feeding on scraps from a fishing vessel in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Herring gull, waiting for tidbits beside a fisherman, who is gutting fish in the harbour of Kerteminde, Funen, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
In Lake Bolgoda, south-western Sri Lanka, Sinhalese fishermen produce fish traps, consisting of mats made from split, 1.5-metre-long, thin bamboo stems, which are tied together with string at the upper and lower ends, and in the middle. These mats are tied to poles, which are stuck into the lake bottom, forming two rows. The distance between these rows gradually decreases, with a large sack tied to the opening at the end. During the day, fish are attracted by fodder, at night by lighted kerosene lamps, which are tied to the poles.
Read more about Lake Bolgoda on the page Travel episodes – Sri Lanka 1976: Among alcohol brewers.
Fisherman, angling from his canoe, Lake Bolgoda. The boat is an outrigger, with a smaller trunk on one side, attached to the canoe by two branches. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This fisherman has caught a spiny lobster in his fish trap, Lake Bolgoda. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Herons are long-legged and long-beaked, fish-eating water birds of the family Ardeidae, comprising about 64 species. Some species are called egrets, mainly birds with ornate plumes during the breeding season, whereas birds of the genera Botaurus, Ixobrychus, and Zebrilus are called bitterns. Below, nine species of heron are presented, and you may read about the Malayan night-heron (Gorsachius melanolophus) on the page Nature: Urban nature.
The grey heron (Ardea cinerea) is distributed in most of Asia, Europe, Africa, and Madagascar. In America, it is replaced by the similar, slightly larger great blue heron (A. herodias).
More pictures of grey heron may be seen on the pages Animals: Birds in Taiwan, and Nature: Urban nature, whereas the great blue heron is presented on the page In praise of the colour blue.
This grey heron catches a fish in a moat near Christianshavn, Copenhagen, Denmark, and proceeds to swallow it. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The great white egret (Ardea alba) has an almost global distribution, found in the major part of Europe, Africa, and Asia, in Australia, and in the Americas.
The similar, but much smaller little egret (Egretta garzetta) is found in most tropical and subtropical areas of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Since 1994, a small population has also been breeding on the Caribbean island Barbados. – You may read more about this species and its near relative, the snowy egret (E. thula), on the page In praise of the colour yellow.
Numerous great white egrets and little egrets on the lookout for fish along a canal, Cigu Black-faced Spoonbill Refuge, near the city of Tainan, southern Taiwan. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The smallish dimorphic egret (Egretta dimorpha) is a coastal species, breeding on coral islets along the coasts of Madagascar, the Comoro Islands, the Seychelles, Kenya, and Tanzania. It mainly feeds in pools in exposed, fossilized coral reefs. As its name implies, this species comes in two morphs, one white, although sometimes with a darker shade, and one slate-coloured.
It is often debated among scientists, whether the dimorphic egret is a separate species, or a subspecies of the little egret (E. garzetta) or of the western reef heron (variously called E. gularis or E. schistacea). A review of the complex relationship between these species has been made by Don Turner, see: Turner, D.A. 2010. The Egretta garzetta complex in East Africa: A case for one, two or three species. Scopus. Journal of East African Ornithology, Vol. 30.
A pale phase dimorphic egret takes off, Shungu Mbili Island, Tanzania. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The tricolored heron (Egretta tricolor), also known as Louisiana heron, breeds in coastal marshes around the Gulf of Mexico, in Central America and the Caribbean, south to Peru and central Brazil. A bird, which was banded in Virginia in 1958, was shot in the Bahamas in 1976, thus reaching the ripe age of almost 18 years.
Tricolored heron, perched on a dead tree, Everglades National Park, Florida. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Another American heron, which breeds in coastal marshes, is the smallish reddish egret (Egretta rufescens), found in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the Gulf States of the United States.
Reddish egret, squabbling with a young double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), J. N. Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The white-faced heron (Egretta novaehollandiae), sometimes called white-fronted heron, is a common breeding bird in Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. Originally, it was placed in a separate genus, Notophoyx, but was later moved to Ardea. Recent genetic studies, however, have shown that its closest relatives are in the Egretta clade.
White-faced heron, about to take off from a huge pine tree, Houhora Head, northern New Zealand. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The smallish black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) is found in most warmer parts of the world, except in Australia, where it is replaced by the closely related rufous night-heron (N. caledonicus). The generic name Nycticorax means ‘night raven’, from the Greek nuktos (‘night’) and korax (‘raven’), referring to the mainly nocturnal feeding habits of this genus, and their hoarse, raven-like call.
In Taiwan, the black-crowned night-heron is quite common and often confiding, as these two birds, feeding in park ponds in the city of Taichung. Note the long, white, nuptial plumes on the bird in the lower picture. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
By some authorities, the small striated heron (Butorides striata), also known as mangrove heron or green-backed heron, is regarded as being conspecific with the North American green heron (B. virescens), as well as the lava heron (B. sundevalli) of the Galapagos Islands, whereas others recognize all three species. If regarded as a single species, it has an almost worldwide distribution.
Striated heron, looking for fish in a stagnant stream, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
These men at Marang, Malaysia, are fishing in the surf, using a net, which is attached to two poles, tied together at one end. The poles are pushed forward on the sea bottom. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Near the town of Puri, Odisha (formerly Orissa), eastern India, you can still watch fishermen, working the traditional way. Their flat-bottomed boats consist of planks, which are ’sewn’ together, using thick grass ropes. At dawn, the fishermen push these boats through the surf, placing a huge fishing net from the shore, so that it forms an inverted ‘U’. Now follows several hours of hard work, when the fishermen, often assisted by their wives, haul the net ashore. Usually, their catch is rather small, and in later years it has been further diminished due to overfishing by trawlers from Kolkata (Calcutta). The catch is placed in baskets or in carapaces of sea turtles, which the women place on their head, carrying it to their home just above the beach.
Traditional Puri fishing boat. Its planks are ‘sewn’ together, using thick grass ropes. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
At dawn, Puri fishermen push their boats out to sea. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
These women assist their husbands, hauling a huge net ashore, Puri. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fishing vessel, Wushe Fishing Harbour, north-eastern Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Aerial photograph of a huge fish trap, Storebælt, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
As their name implies, most kingfishers, of the family Alcedinidae, eat fish, although many species live away from water, eating mainly small invertebrates. Kingfishers have large heads, long, sharp, pointed bills, and very short legs. Altogether, 114 species have been described, divided into three subfamilies: river kingfishers (Alcedininae), tree kingfishers (Halcyoninae), and water kingfishers (Cerylinae).
The tiny malachite kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus), which belongs to the subfamily river kingfishers (Alcedininae), is named after its greenish forehead, reminiscent of the colour of the mineral malachite. It is widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa.
Malachite kingfisher, perched on a papyrus stem (Cyperus papyrus), Lake Naivasha, Kenya. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The white-breasted, or white-throated, kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), which belongs to the subfamily tree kingfishers (Halcyoninae), is widely distributed in Asia, from Turkey east to the Philippines. Its specific name refers to the Ancient Greek city of Smyrna, now called Izmir, in what is today western Turkey. Initially, Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), also known as Carl von Linné, named this bird Alcedo smyrnensis, citing Eleazar Albin’s Natural History of Birds, from 1738, which included a description and an illustration of the Smirna kingfisher. (Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-throated_kingfisher)
White-breasted kingfisher, photographed at Dal Lake, Kashmir, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The pied kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) belongs to the third subfamily, the water kingfishers (Cerylinae). This species also has a very wide distribution, found in sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt, and in Asia, from Turkey eastwards to south-eastern China, and south to Southeast Asia and South India.
Pied kingfisher, Dal Lake, Kashmir, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This picture is from the great marshes of southern Iraq, between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, where the pied kingfisher is extremely common. I once counted 105 birds, gathered on electric wires along the road between the towns of Chibayish and Hamar. – Read about this fascinating wetland on the pages Travel episodes – Iraq 1973: The hospitable mudir, and Iraq 1973: Dust storm and sheep’s head. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fisherman, cleaning a net on board his vessel, Wushe Fishing Harbour, north-eastern Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Carved wooden figure, depicting a fisherman, placed on the window sill of a fisherman’s hut, Kapelludden, Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The catch of the day, Lochinwar National Park, Zambia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Fishing vessel, reflected in water, Nexø Harbour, Bornholm, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Catching fish in an inundated rice field, using baskets, Pre Rup, Cambodia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
In the 1600s, a number of wars were fought between Denmark and Sweden. The Danish King, Christian V, ordered a fortress erected on a tiny islet near the island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea, south of Sweden. Construction took place 1684-1687. This island, which until then had been uninhabited, was named Christiansø, in honour of the king. Later, the neighbouring island was named Frederiksø, in honour of his successor, Frederik IV.
At dusk, a fishing boat returns to the harbour on Christiansø, Denmark. In the late 1600s, the tower in the background served as a watch tower, and later it became a prison for enemies of the king. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The brown fish owl (Ketupa zeylonensis) is a large, fish-eating owl, which is distributed from eastern Turkey, eastwards through the Indian Subcontinent to southern China, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Brown fish owl, photographed in Sariska National Park, Rajasthan, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This young man proudly presents his catch, acquired with a fishing harpoon, northern Norway. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Atlantic cods (Gadus morhua) in a basket, Bornholm, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Boy, carrying newly caught fish, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Colourful fishing boat, shaped like a swordfish, Senggigi, Lombok, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Cleaning a fishing vessel, Bornholm, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) is a small, heron-like bird, which, however, forms a separate family of its own, Scopidae. When the Boer people arrived in South Africa in the 18th century, they named this bird hamerkop (‘hammer-head’ in Dutch), due to its maul-shaped crest. Later, this name was adopted by the British.
This bird has a huge distribution, covering most of sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, and the south-western tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Traditionally, this species is protected in many places, making it rather confident. This fact may be seen on the page Culture: Boats.
Hamerkop, swallowing a tiny fish, Augrabies National Park, South Africa. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
A black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophrys) (left), a white-chinned petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis) (centre), and a Cape petrel (Daption capense), competing to eat fish offal from a fishing vessel, south of Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Chinese fishing nets were introduced to Kerala, South India, in the 1300s by Chinese fugitives. Each net is tied to a creaking wooden framework, which, by using an ingenious system of levers, large stones, and ropes, and the work of 3-5 men, can be raised or lowered into the water.
Chinese fishing nets, Kochi, Kerala. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The indigenous population of Taiwan is composed of numerous peoples of Malayan origin, who still live in the mountains. Formerly, these tribes had a rich and colourful culture, which has been partially preserved, for example in their artwork.
Other pictures of this tribal artwork may be seen on the page Culture: Folk art of Taiwan.
Mosaic, depicting fishermen with a trap and a spear, artwork of the Atayal tribe Tian Gou (‘Heavenly Dog’), who live near Dongshih. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Mosaic, depicting a fishing net, artwork of the Atayal tribe Tian Gou, Dongshih. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This image, made from broken tiles, depicts an old woman, angling in a stream, artwork of the Maopu people, who live near Hsinchu. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The African fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer), which is widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa, always lives near water. This iconic raptor is the national bird of no less than three countries: Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Sudan. It was described by French naturalist François Levaillant (1753-1824), who named it vocifer (’the one with a penetrating voice’) – a most suitable name for this eagle, whose scream often resound over the African landscape.
This African fish-eagle, sitting in a tree along the Rufiji River, Tanzania, was so confiding that it remained on its perch, even as our rubber dinghy bumped into the tree. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This African fish-eagle has just caught a fish, Lake Malawi. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Nowadays, most fishing vessels in Denmark are anchored in harbours. A few places, though, like here at Torup Strand, Jutland, fishermen still haul their boats ashore, using huge winches. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
(Uploaded October 2017)
(Latest update September 2019)