Fishing with Otters where Otters are Helping Fishermen to Catch Fish for Centuries: Bangladesh

Otters live in cold water and often eat frogs, crayfish and crabs some of them are expert at opening shellfish and hunting available birds or small mammals. Otters can arrange food alone by hunting. But fisherman from southwest Bangladesh knows their other uses. Here otters with fisherman make unusual pair and they catch fish together. They have trained river otters to catch fish.

A century old tradition that relies on coordination between man and otter passed on from father to son here they have been using trained otters to lure fish into their nets.

Southwest Bangladesh is likely the only place in the world where otter fishing continues

According to native fisherman with the help of otters they catch more fish that they cannot catch alone.The best time for fishing with help of otters is usually at night between 9 PM to 5 AM. The average catch by a single boat in a night ranges from 4 to 12 kilograms of fish, shrimp and crabs.

The modern technique of fishing replace old age otter fishing .In rest of world people uses other technique for  fishing.But ancient time Otter fishing has been practiced in the British Isles, Northern Africa, Central Europe, Scandinavia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and China.

Otter Fishing was recorded by Marco Polo who traveled through Asia during the Tang dynasty in Yangtze region of China. They learned these techniques from the fishermen of Southeast Asia.

Two otter species of the European otter and the smooth-coated otter mostly used for fishing at old time. Bangladesh has hundreds of rivers but wildlife is endangered by water pollution, because of this fishing with otters tradition restricted in a few districts of Bangladesh that are  near to the Sundarbans Mangrove forest.

Fishermen keep Otters at their wooden boat inside large bamboo box during fishing and after fishing they feed them from their catch.

Fishing with otters now becoming a dying tradition and no one from fisherman family want to continue this for livelihood. This Fishing tradition is the rarest one which show human bond with animal where both survive with help of each other for centuries.