Location: Fort Kochi
Highlights: A very unusual method of fishing, operated from the
How to Reach: Once you land in Kochi City, reach Fort Kochi by
hired car, taxi, bus or auto-rickshaw.
The Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi, located in the Kochi city of
Kerala, make up a very popular tourist attraction. They are fixed land
installations, which are used for a very unique and unusual method of
fishing. Operated from the shore, these nets are set up on bamboo and
teak poles and held horizontally by huge mechanisms, which lower them
into the sea. They look somewhat like hammocks and are counter-weighed
by large stones tied to ropes.
The entire structure of the Chinese fishing nets is about 10 meters in
height. Each fishing net spreads to about 20 meters over the water body
and is operated by a team of some six fishermen. Each net has a limited
operating depth. Due to this, an individual net cannot be repeatedly
operated in tidal waters. There are different fishing nets for
operation, depending on the state of the tide. The whole paraphernalia
is such that that the weight of a man walking along the main beam is
sufficient to cause the net to descend into the sea.
The net is left into the water for a short time; say for four-five
minutes, before it is raised back by tugging the ropes. The catch is
usually modest, but these can be sold to the passersby in a jiffy. The
Chinese Fishing Nets of Cochin are said to have their origin in China.
This is not totally impossible, as China is located at a distance of
5,000 km from Kochi and the city has always been an important center for
trade, attracting traders and seafarers from far and near.
Legend has it that the Chinese Fishing Nets were introduced in Fort
Kochi by the Chinese explorer, Zheng He. They were brought from the
court of Chinese emperor, Kublai Khan and have been in operation here
since that time only. Just take a stroll by the Vasco-da-gama Square
near the Fort Cochin and you are bound to come across a number of
Chinese fishing nets, suspended in mid-air, alongside the seacoast.
Know about the famous Chinese fishing nets, located in the Cochin/Kochi city of Kerala.