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that hscb advert with the ‘fishing’ bird

Does anyone else think that this advert glosses over the fact that rather than being trained in the art of catching fish for humans, these cormorants are actually effectively forced to deliver fish to their ‘owners'(?)

I don’t know what my naive self thought was happening – perhaps that the birds just liked the act of catching fish and would do it even on a full stomach? who knows – but I was clearly stupidly wrong. What happens, is the birds have a piece of string tied around their neck so that when they catch a fish, they cant fit it down their throat to eat it and the ‘fisherman’ grabs it out of their beak. Seems obvious in retrospect, and possibly even looks like it’s a clever tactic, like ‘yay – humans win over nature!’ but I cant help but feel like it’s cruel and unnecessary. Maybe before we’d learnt how to use nets and rods and whatnot, I could understand it, but these days(?) Is that the best fishing method(?) Really(?)

Bah. Boo to HSBC for glamorising tying string around cormorants necks. Boo!!

(more on ‘cormorant fishing’ here)

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