PHOTO: Traditional Fisherman on Inle Lake, Myanmar

Traditional fisherman on Inle Lake, Myanmar

Traditional fisherman on Inle Lake, Myanmar, balances on one leg at the bow of his wooden boat while rowing with a paddle tied to his other leg. The lake is so shallow for much of the year that fishermen must stand up to navigate through the thick vegetation that blooms beneath the surface. These fishermen are a dying breed, as many are using more modern fishing techniques. Despite modern techniques, however, fishermen are finding it difficult to earn a living, as the lake has been over-fished. As smaller and smaller fish are taken, the breeding stock is being depleted. Though the water level has always varied drastically between the dry and rainy seasons, improper water management practices have further stressed the ecology of the lake. After Inle Lake nearly dried up two years ago, the community began working with an international NGO to learn how to better manage water resources, and things are beginning to turn around. This was just one of many magical sights seen during my Myanmar Explorer Cruise/Tour with Viking River Cruises.

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