Fishermen in north Vietnam haul catches on stilts

Thanh Nien News

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Despite great difficulty and little financial payoff, fishermen in northern Vietnam maintain the South East Asian tradition of fishing on stilts.
Photos credit: VnExpress
Fishermen along the coast of Nam Dinh and other North-Central provinces share the custom of catching small fish, shrimp and oysters on stilts that are more than one meter high.
The sight of men standing on their stilts with fishing nets in-hand is common at Thinh Long beach in Nam Dinh’s Hai Hau District.
The fishermen start their days very early in the morning. They use stilts to wade into deep waters.
They have to maintain their balance while adjusting their nets.
Stilts and other fishing devices are made from bamboo that's been buried in mud, a practice believed to increase their durability.
It takes most people about a month to learn to walk on stilts like an expert. But, to do so while operating a fishing net takes much longer.
The job is hard and not highly profitable; but many people still stick with it.
These men usually spend two to three hours fishing every morning.
When the tide is low, the fishermen start combing through the sand for oysters.
They drag bamboo poles fixed with iron hooks while walking backwards. When the hook hits something, they know they've found an oyster.
Women sort through catches on the coast.

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