Along the banks of the river spilling out into the sea, there are many wooden contraptions jutting out over and into the water. Men will call you over to show you how it works – be aware that you should tip them for the effort, or not go see them at all – but this is your chance to experience the daily life of a fisherman in Kochi and also see how their traditional fishing nets work!
The wooden contraption is actually a fishing apparatus fixed to a net. It works on a fulcrum point that pivots in the middle. One side is submerged in water – that’s the net side. The other side is counter-weighted with heavy rocks.
Walking across the wooden beams can be unnerving, particularly when the creaking and softness of the planks don’t make for confident footing.
Once you are on the net side of the fulcrum, the men raise it by pulling the ropes on the counter-weighted side. See here.
Once it has been raised fully, the net comes up with really tiny fish, they should be thrown back in. But everyone is in survival mode here and if you can sell something for any amount, it will be sold!
As the men fetch the fish from the net, many birds come swooping at the catch and are often successful at a fish for themselves!
20 rupees was my tip to the gentleman, but there are seven of them to split that..