The man making and fixing crab traps for 30-plus years

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Crabs from Wanli on the north coast are famously succulent and account for 80% of Taiwan's sea crab catch. Each time local crab boats go out to sea, they must prepare close to a thousand crab traps. During the peak season, the catch rate is very high, so fishermen usually throw the traps away and buy new ones rather than fixed old or damaged traps, a practice which not only adds economic pressure to fishermen already short of cash but is also bad for the environment.

"Live each day to the max and provide the finest craftsmanship"; this is the motto of Xu Balang (許八郎), which he repeats to himself daily. Knowing the importance of having a good crab cage that will help the success of each crab catching expedition, he began studying how to modify the crab cage to maximize catches.

Xu Balang has been repairing crab nets with a traditional netting needle for half a century. Though repairing crab cages is laborious and time-consuming work, Xu Balang's heart and soul is still very much a part of his work. Spreading out his hands to show us his calluses, he told us that his hands are connected to the ocean and that the ocean has helped him find joy in life.

 

以下為中文對照

北海岸蟹籠職人 縫補蟹籠三十載

肉質鮮美的萬里蟹,佔台灣海蟹捕撈量的八成,但每次出海捕蟹船都要準備一千個捕蟹網,在旺季期間的捕蟹網汰換率非常高,通常漁民都會選擇丟掉重買,這樣既對環境不友善,又增加了經濟壓力。

 

每一天都要過得有充實,做手藝就要做到最好,這是許八郎一直掛在嘴邊的座右銘,他知道一個好的蟹籠,關乎每次出海捕蟹的成敗,於是便開始鑽研如何改裝修補蟹籠。

 

一針一線,穿梭過許八郎的半百歲月,修補蟹籠這種費工夫又費時間的活,許八朗默默地堅持著投入心血,他攤開滿手是繭的雙手,說著他心繫大海,是大海讓他找到人生的樂趣。

 

 

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The man making and fixing crab traps for 30-plus years

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