Nepal’s Village Fishermen
Fishing is an age-old skill that is still used to make a livelihood in many villages of Nepal today. The men and boys use large nets that many make themselves. Even though Nepal is landlocked it has many mountain rivers that are teeming with over 300 types of fish. The southern regions of Nepal are also very wet so fishing is just as good, if not better than the mountains, due to the warm temperature. Sometimes the Nepalis carve out their own wooden canoes but most go quietly by foot through the streams. They say the best fishing times are in the afternoons so if you go out along the river around 3 p.m. you will see a troupe of men wading quietly through the waters or cleaning fish on the beach. The little fishing village I was able to visit was located in the mountains outside of Pokhara. It was peacefully tucked between the green foothills of the Himalayas. After the men caught the fish they would take the larger ones up to the market to be sold fresh and the small ones were laid out in the sun to be dried and shipped to the city. Nepali people use dried fish to make special sauces to eat with their beans and rice. This makes the market for dried fish very large in the bigger cities. The generation that fishes for a living is slowly fading away as the literacy rate increases though and people move to the city to find better-paying jobs. Also, fish farming has increased all over the nation and larger amounts of fish are being produced making the market for rural fisherman decrease. Fishing is a beautiful art though that the Nepali people have perfected throughout generations. I’m sure that the Nepali people’s love for this sport will not decrease with the market and many generations will enjoy net fishing as a hobby, if not a livelihood.
Report by Emma Mosemann