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Chapter 4

The Last Fishermen of Huanchaco

An Ancient Fishing method lives on

Fishermen along the Northern coast of Peru surf and fish in much the same way their Moche-Chimu ancestors have for over 4,000 years. In the small town of Huanchaco the fishermen make boats out of a locally cultivated aquatic reed called “totora”. They are planted and later cut and dried and woven into the “Caballitos de Totora” (Little Horses of Reed).

The Fishing method has not changed over the years but many new threats have come about. Industrial fishing diminishes the fish supply, coastal erosion threatens the vital “totora” fields and many children of fishermen have left the family business behind. 

There are currently no more than 30 fishermen that practice this ancient and sustainable method of fishing.


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