Let’s Go Fishing

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Asia, Travel

If you’ve traveled to Southern India you will have seen these enormous, and quite wonderful, fishing nets. They’ve become a popular tourist attraction. They’re commonly called Chinese Fishing Nets (supposedly introduced by the Chinese, although some claim it was the Portuguese). More formally, they are Shore Operated Lift Nets.

kerala, india

They are huge contraptions. Environmentally hazardous commercial deep sea fishing (eg, drift net fishing) operations aside, they’re probably the largest nets you’ll see. They’re so big that each rig needs a team of up to six fisherman to operate it. They measure 20 m (66 ft), or more, across and at least 10 m (33 ft) high. They’re massive. The rig looks rather awkward, but it is a strangely graceful apparatus.

The structure includes a cantilever with the outstretched net suspended over the sea, and large stones hung from ropes at the other end. These are counterweights. The rig is so finely balanced that the weight of a man walking along the main beam is sufficient to cause it to effortlessly descend into the sea. The net is left in the water for only a short time before it is raised by pulling on ropes. The catch is often sold immediately to passers by. It doesn’t get any fresher than that! Location: Kerala, India

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