Skip to main content

VIDEO: Peruvian fishing tradition becomes a thing of the past

Out to sea, away from the Peruvian tourist town of Huanchaco, fishermen tend nets in small reed boats with pointed bows that are known as caballitos de totora, or little reed horses.

They have done so for thousands of years, their boats built from the totora reed that grows along the shore. A handful of fishermen continue the tradition today, growing and harvesting the reeds and forming them into boats.

Changing times are threatening their way of life, the New York Times reports. Marshy beds where fishermen grow the reeds are being destroyed as the shoreline erodes. The small reserve set aside for the plants is also under threat, increasingly hemmed in by houses and real estate speculators.

This video from the Discovery Channel’s “Ultimate Journeys” program offers a look at one Huanchaco fisherman and his boat.

Going to sea in small reed boats has become almost entirely an old man’s occupation. Sons and grandsons of local fishermen are becoming surfing instructors, construction workers and policemen, taking jobs on larger fishing boats or going abroad in search of better pay.

“It seems like we’re the last generation,” Luis Urcia, who at 30 is one of the youngest of the fishermen to go out regularly on the caballitos, told the Times.

“A fisherman’s life is tough,” he said. “That’s why the young people don’t want to do it. They’d rather have a profession and health insurance and a bank account.”



Rays of Light

A key indicator of U.S. consumer confidence rose for the first time in four months in August as the economy added 315,000 jobs.


Yanmar Announces Sales, Marketing Hires

The company has hired Bas Eerden as global sales manager and Michele Durkin as global marketing manager.


So, You Want To Be a Yacht Broker

Tips to help build a network through an online presence which is essential to success


Ian Explodes Into Category 4 Hurricane

The historic hurricane is expected to make landfall this afternoon between Naples and Venice, Fla.


Premier Marine Announces New Minnesota Facility

The pontoon builder recently completed a 150,000-square-foot building with new corporate offices and expanded manufacturing facilities.


Scout Boats Recognizes Top Dealers

Seven Seas Yacht Sales of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was recognized as the boatbuilder’s top dealer worldwide.


TowBoatUS Vessels Go Pink

Five of TowBoatUS’s response fleet are going pink for the month of October to help increase breast cancer awareness on the water.


Fork in the Channel

Boat registration totals for July mostly revealed considerable weakness compared with a year earlier, and tumbled back into a steeper downtrend than the prior month’s comparisons.


Inflation Stymies Boat Sales

Inventories of new and used boats are improving at the retail level but are still considered comparatively lean, according to the results of the monthly Pulse Report survey.