Chinese Fishing Nets

Chinese fishing nets, also called locally as ‘Cheenavala’, are used to catch fish nearer to the sea shore. They are big mechanical structures which look similar to a catapult at first sight. They are fixed land installations and cannot be moved from one place to another. Installed on the sea shore these structures extend their arms to the sea dipping a broad fishing net. When pulled out from the sea after a few minutes, one of the fishermen operating the net will go and collect the catch.

Technically this fishing system is not as efficient as modern fish trawlers. What makes it unque is its beauty and the art of its operation. It is a well balanced mechanical system with weights perfectly balanced with the help of hanging stones. It is operated by a group mostly of 6 fishermen. The people are very friendly and if you are lucky they may even let you help them operate the nets.

The Chinese nets can be found in large numbers at Fort Cochin in Ernakulam District of Kerala. Actually it is the only place in the world where you can find Chinese fishing nets. The origin of these fishing nets is still unknown. it is believed that these nets were brought to Cochin by the Chinese traveler ‘Zheng He’. But this still remains as an unverified claim.

How to reach Chinese Fishing Nets:

You can reach Ernakulam city via Road, Train or Plane. (See here for more info)

Once you are in Ernakulam city, reach fort cochin via taxi, bus or boat (I recommend the boat service, it is cheaper, frequent, faster and a free trip through Cochin Lagoons.). Once you reach Fort Cochin go to the Vasco da Gama square or just ask any bystanders for directions.

No words are enough to describe the beauty of these Chinese Fishing nets, the only way to find out is to visit them.

Know more on Tourist attractions in Ernakulam.


Image Courtesy: Flickr.Com and EnchantingKerala.Org


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