One of the attractions alongside the waterfornt in Fort Kochi are the Chinese fishing nets, operated by a team of 5 or 6 men, they are an unusual, traditional and historic method for catching fish.
The mechanism is made up of a large net, bamboo poles and teak struts, which are couterweighted by large stones, making a structure about 10 metres high when retracted from the sea. The nets are lowered into the sea and brought out at intervals and the catch is often sold to pessers by or on a small improvised stall on the sea wall.
It is said that the nets were brought to Kochi by a Chinese explorer Zheng He, who was sent by the Emperor Kublai Khan – which is either legend or otherwise highly probable.
A lot of tourists just hang out down by the waterside, with quite a crowd that gathers when the nets are pulled in.
When the nets are pulled in one of the team scuttles off to take the few fish they catch to a small stall that is just behind the nets for sale to the general public.
The way the team of men work is pretty amazing, total coordination and teamwork – well worth seeing, even if you buy no fish.