Chinese fishing nets lose popularity among Kochi fishermen

Chinese fishing nets, one of the popular tourist attractions in Kochi , are fast becoming a thing of past as its high maintenance costs is forcing fishermen to look for other economical options. Called 'Cheena Vala', Chinese fishing nets are an ancient way of catching fish where teakwood poles combined with ropes and heavy stones lower a large fishing net attached to it, into the sea to catch a rich variety of fish. However, the structure has become years old and requires proper maintenance. The fishermen complain that they receive no financial help from the government and have to bear all the maintenance costs by themselves. Less productivity and large maintenance costs have affected the fishermen severely. Another problem haunting fishermen is the unavailability of a sufficient length of teakwood poles. The poles form an inherent part of the structure which is now being replaced by iron pipes filled with oil inside them. Currently, there are only around 12 Chinese fishing nets in Fort Kochi and eight in the Vypeen region.