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A fisherman family’s life aboard and dreams ashore

People's Daily Online)  14:00, July 26, 2013  

Yi sets his boat in deep water and then throws net. (Photo by Long Hongtao/ Xinhua)

Yi Guojun, his wife and their son all live aboard a boat. Their home is a shabby wooden boat, 6 meters long and 2 meters wide.

Yi Guojun, 32 is the owner of the boat and the husband. He was born in Xiaogan, central China’s Hubei province. Yi has been fishing on the Xiangjiang River for more than five years. He started fishing on boat when he was a boy younger than 10. Yi calls himself a senior fisherman.

Chenyan, 29, the wife, browned by the sun, has been living with Yi aboard since they got married. Chen Yan used to vomit every day at the beginning, suffering from serious seasick.

She did not grow up aboard but her husband did. “It was a really hard time. But, it is not that hard to catch fish if you work hard enough,” Chen Yan said that the life aboard now fully agrees with her.

Every day at 3 o’clock in the morning, Yi Guojun starts the engine and sets the boat to deep water on the Xiangjiang River. After he throws all the six nets around the boat, he wakes his wife up and anchors.

They wash face, brush teeth and then have breakfast together on the boat. When it is around 5 a.m., they haul the net and pick over the fish they caught. Yi sails the boat back to the harbor and carries fishes to the market.

Around 11 a.m., Yi buys some grocery from the market and goes back to his home on the boat. The couple then cooks and has the meal on board. In the afternoon, Yi dries nets and prepares for the second throwing of nets. Around 5 p.m., they go back to the market again and sell what they catch.

Yi said that he has dreamed about the city life ashore on the side of the river. He is accustomed to the life aboard but he does hope that his son can someday go to college, find his love and settle ashore.

Yi’s dream is coming true. Local authorities have announced that Housing and Urban Development Department is seeking to improve the living condition of fishermen by helping them settle down ashore. Housing projects for fishermen family will be carried out one after the other in 3 years.

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(Editor:GaoYinan、Chen Lidan)


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