Fishery culture of Gin Ethnic Group

Fishery is a traditional industry of Jing people. Among all kinds of fish production, Jing people are mainly engaged in net dragging fishery and miscellaneous fishery at the shallow sea. The fishery tools include drawing net, Sai net, Yu Bo, gill net, as well as specialized hunting nets, such as shark net, south shrimp net, jellyfish net, horseshoe crab net, cuttle fish net, etc. As for digging sandworm, raking spiral shell, catching crab, etc., they are all simple business.

Because of the differences in geographical conditions, the kinds of fishery engaged in may vary. Ten thousand mainly with draw in the net and fish, mountain heart fish by screen with fishing mainly, and witch head fill with fishing screen in network fish. The numerous fishing gears and fine division of labor feature a unique fishery culture of Jing people.

The large drawing net can be three meters tall and 400 meters long, composed of six silk fabrics nets. The mesh is small and dense. The small drawing net, 330 meters long, 2.3 meters tall at both ends and 3.3 meters tall in the middle, is made up of four silk fabrics nets. When in operation, the large net needs thirty to forty people, while the small net takes twenty to thirty people. The operation procedure: first, learn to know the sea area, observe the fish’s movements, and choose the operation places; Second, row a skiff or bamboo raft to cast the net slowly in the fish movement place, enclosing into a large ring of encirclement of half-moon shape from the beach to the sea; Third, two groups of people hold the head rope on both ends to draw the net back to the beach; Fourth, in the course of dragging, the two groups draw close to each other slowly until the fish can be seen. This kind of net drawing operation is a large-scale mode of fishery of Jing people. Men and women can both participate in, with no limitation on the season.

The Sai net is also called Zha Net, divided into dense and sparse types. Its length and height are about equal to the drawing net. However, the setup location of the net is on the beach. People are divided into three groups, each group further divided into different roles, “Mark the stake position,” “Insert the stake,” “Hang up the net,” “Fill the string bag with sand,” ect. The net is set up in advance before the tide comes. When rising, the tide will carry various kinds of fishes and shrimps into the net. After the tide ebbs, the fishes and shrimps will be trapped by the net and sand, “folding their hands for capture.”  The differences between the Sai net and drawing net lie in: the former focuses on the fixed “Sai” and “Du”, while the latter emphasize on “drawing” and “drawing in.”

Yubo is a kind of fishing gear of the funnel shape, which is generally set up at the joining place of tidewater going up and down, and rapid flow of water. First, take the wooden stakes of two meters tall with a diameter of more than 10 centimetres to form two rows. Then use the small bamboo strips to make a “hedge” fence, enclosing a round fish’s room of 3.5 meters tall. When the tide ebbs, the fishes, shrimps and crabs will enter the fish’s port along the two rows of stakes.

The shark net is the special gear to hunt shark in deep sea. It is 400 meters long and 1.3 meters tall, with large mesh. The net is made up of net thread, net float (thick bamboo tubes), net falls (lead iron or the stone), net head rope, etc. When casting the net, four people take a raft to the abyssal region of shark movement, falling the foot of the two ends and the middle with heavy stones. It lasts for a few days to cast the net. Hunting sharks is a thrilling and exciting fishery operation.

In the fishery life of Jing people, they still keep the custom of “Ji lai.” If some people want to eat the seafood, they can go to the fully loaded fishing boat coming back from the sea and pick some to take away, the host will say nothing about it.

In their long-term fishery life, there have also formed some etiquette and taboo custom among Jing people. For example, if the meal has been burnt, people can’t say ” burnt,” because “burnt” in Chinese shares the same pronunciation with “reef”, and they are afraid of hitting a submerged reef; on the boat, “oil” is called “Hua Shui,” because “Hua” has the meaning of “smooth.” Every time the Jing men go to sea, the old men, women, and children will go to the beach to see off and also hold some memorial ceremonies for the sea.

Jing people have accumulated abundant fish production experience in a long run. They are very familiar with the migration laws of different fish, can accurately predict the fluctuations of the tidewater’s coming and ebbing as well as the change of the maritime climate, and arrange the production activities based on the laws of “rise” and “fall” of the tidewater.