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Chinese fishing nets, Kochi, Kerala, India

Chinese fishing nets, Kochi (Cochin), Kerala. India. If you are visiting Indian state Kerala you have to see this incredible fishing technique. Large spiderlike structures with huge nets are used for fishing at shallow waters.

Indian state Kerala is at southern part of India. It’s famous for interesting Kerala backwaters – net of water channels along the coast full with houseboats, water lives and fishermen. Many men are working like fishermen here. They fish by standard way with boats and nets but also by very interesting traditional way called fishing with Chinese fishing nets (Cheena vala).

Chinese fishing nets, Kochi (Cochin), Kerala. India. On the shore or at the shallow water is built huge structure from wood. It looks like a spider holding huge net. Height of the structure is at least 10 meters. It is very well balanced so it’s easy to drop the net to the water. Than fishermen waits for some time and next step is to take net from the water. Several men are pulling the net out by ropes. Another man is taking care of net itself and when net is outside of the water he is checking content of the net. Are there any fishes? His responsibility is to move captured fishes to baskets. And everything is going again. Net is going back to the water. Balancing of the whole system is made by huge stones which are fixed to the end of the ropes. Average weight of one stone is about 30kg. Several people are necessary for operating this structure. Average number is about 6 fishermen.

It may be the legacy of the traders from the AD 1300 court of Kublai Khan. Another source says that nets may have been introduced by the Chinese explorer Zheng He. Today Chinese fishing nets are the unofficial emblem of Kerala’s backwaters. The easiest place to see them is Fort Cochin (Kochi/Cochin town) at Kerala state, India.


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