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Chinese fishing nets, also known as Chinawala in Malayalam, are large fishing nets specifically associated with the Indian state of Kerala. Here are some facts about Chinese fishing nets in Kerala:
Chinese fishing nets are believed to have been introduced to Kochi (Cochin) by Chinese traders in the 14th century. Historical records state that this net was gifted to the ruler of Kochi by the emperor of China.
Chinese fishing nets are mainly found on the shores of the Arabian Sea at the Kochi Fort in Kochi. They form a striking feature of the Kochi waterfront.
Fish traps are fixed land fixtures and consist of large cantilevered fish traps attached to bamboo and teak poles. Restraints, usually stones tied to lines, help keep the nets up and down. A team of fishermen uses a lever and a load system to lift and lower the net into the water.
Using Chinese fishing nets is a labor intensive process. Fishermen raise their nets in the morning and lower them in the evening, hoping to catch a variety of fish and other species of marine life.
Chinese fishing nets have become a major tourist attraction in Kochi. Visitors are often amazed to see these huge nets being raised and lowered back in the Arabian Sea.
With its impressive layout and scenic views, the cage offers excellent photo opportunities for visitors. It is especially popular to see the painted machine with the sunset.
Fish caught in Chinese nets are sold in large quantities in nearby markets. Visitors can also experience the bustling activities of the nearby fish market.
Chinese fishing nets are considered cultural and historical heritage in Kochi. They symbolize the city’s maritime history and historic trade links with China.
Around the Chinese fishing nets especially Fort Kochi beach is a favorite place for locals and tourists to enjoy beautiful sunset views.
While Chinese fish traps are a cultural and historical attraction, traditional fishing methods face challenges such as dwindling stocks and changing fishing regulations.
Visiting Chinese fishing nets in Kochi not only gives you an insight into the traditional fishing practices but also gives you the opportunity to showcase the historical and cultural significance of these magnificent structures along the coast of Kerala.