Chinese Fishing Nets, Kerala

Marconi in front of of the nets in Fork Kochi


Marconi is an original decedent of the Mongolian people (a Chinese state at the time) who were the creators of the “Chinese Fishing Nets” in Kerala, India. These structures are at least 30 ft high and the nets stretch out more than 50 ft across the water! It takes half a dozen people to even attempt to heave the nets which work on a pulley system with GIANT boulders hanging from the opposite side to counteract the weight. Once the net is allowed to sink to the bottom, the crew waits approximately 2-3 minutes for fish to swim over it. The fishermen then quickly pull on the worn ropes to bring the net to the surface with the fish caught inside. Marconi will then run up to collect the small fish with a landing net.

Net submerged

Net submerged

These nets have become one of the iconic figures of Fort Kochi, with over 10 structures placed shoulder to shoulder in view of the Arabian Sea. Behind the cluster of nets, there is a seafood market that will sell you anything from sardines to giant grouper and crab.

Although there is skepticism that it was the Chinese who introduced these nets, Marconi affirms this. However, he says that the Portuguese altered the mechanism later on to allow for larger nets to be put in place.

These structures have become quite the attraction in Kerala and are mesmerizing and almost hypnotic to watch!

Collecting the catch

Collecting the catch

One thought on “Chinese Fishing Nets, Kerala

  1. Pingback: A Traveler in My Own Land – Introduction | Raxa Collective

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