The Chinese Fishing Nets of Fort Cochin

 

The Chinese Fishing Nets of Fort Cochin, It’s great to watch the nets go up and down. For such huge nets they seem to catch very little. Fort Cochin is such a great tourist spot, I could watch the fishermen all day. The street vendors near by sell almost anything. I was particularly enamoured with the old post cards for sale that had been used, I had to buy one.

 

In India, Chinese fishing nets (Cheena vala) are fishing nets that are fixed land installations for fishing. While commonly known as “Chinese fishing nets” in India, the more formal name for such nets is “shore operated lift nets”. Huge mechanical contrivances hold out horizontal nets of 20 m or more across. Each structure is at least 10 m high and comprises a cantilever with an outstretched net suspended over the sea and large stones suspended from ropes as counterweights at the other end. Each installation is operated by a team of up to six fishermen. While such nets are used throughout coastal southern China and Indochina, in India they are mostly found in the Indian cities of Kochi and Kollam, where they have become a tourist attraction. The Indian common name arises because they are unusual in India and different from usual fishing nets in India.

 

The Chinese fishing nets have become a very popular tourist attraction, their size and elegant construction is photogenic and the slow rhythm of their operation is quite hypnotic. In addition, catches can be purchased individually and need be taken only a short distance to a street entrepreneur who will cook it.

Wikipedia page for the Chinese fishing nets can be found here.

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