Ho Jeon Pak collects small fish and shrimp in front of his stilt house (left) in Tai O.
After a few hours in the muddy water, he walks back to his home.
Ho cleans his shoes and scissors in front of his house in Tai O.
His equipment has weathered many a day of wading through the mud.
In recent years, the amount of fish in the Tai O waters has gradually declined, according to the village’s former police officer Tsong.
After finishing his work, Ho relaxes on a porch close to his home in Tai O on a Sunday afternoon.
Ho and his wife have decorated the walls of their home with family pictures. Ho is the tenth of 12 siblings, who, according to one of his sisters, all have more than 10 children.
Ho and his wife, however, have ‘only’ seven kids. None of them wants to take over as a fisherman, but some of them take part in the dragon boat race held in Tai O in early June.
The training for the race is one of the rare moments when Ho and his family get to hold a big family dinner together in Tai O village.
Even though the population is growing older and professional fishermen are scarce, Tai O has still kept its charm as a fishing village, attracting visitors from Hong Kong and abroad.
Text and photos by Solaire Hauser
HONG KONG – Wading through the dark brown muddy ground, Ho Jeon Pak is looking for shrimp. The villager, who is currently in his seventies, collects the small sea creatures, as well as tiny fish, simply for fun and to eat them.
“There is nothing else to do here,” says his wife.
She and Ho have been living in the Tai O fishing village on Lantau Island in Hong Kong for many years. Before his retirement about 16 years ago, Ho used to work as a fisherman, just like many other men in the small village. But now, there is hardly anything left to catch.
“I quit fishing when I was about 40,” he says. “No fish for us anymore.”