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Motorized Winch for Chinese Fishing Net

Kerala, having about 590 km of coastline, is blessed with abundant fish resources, and its backwaters provide ample scope for fishing. Chinese Fishing Nets, commonly known as “Cheena Vala,” are a common feature in the backwaters and estuaries of Kerala, widely used in Kollam, Alappuzha and Kochi. Chinese Fishing Nets are fixed, land-based, shore-operated lift nets consisting of large wooden cantilevered frames with an attached net that are lowered together into the waters and then raised with the catch of various fish and prawns. Stones are used for counter-weights on the shore end of the rig whose rhythmic operation attracts locals and tourists alike.

Problem/Need The Chinese Fishing Net requires at least 3 men to operate. The whole rig needs to be lowered and lifted about 20 times every hour when the catch is good. Labour is hired-in when there is manpower shortage within the family. The increasing cost of labour in Kerala is threatening the viability of these fishing rigs.


Description & Specifications : A metallic Winch has been designed and introduced among fisher folk of the region to tackle this problem.


The Winch has a drum of 200mm diameter and 350 mm length. The rope used for pulling up the net is easily attached to the drum. The Winch is driven by motor through belt and gear drives. The system can raise a load of 150 kg at around 0.5 m/s. A mechanical brake prevents the drum from unwinding and allowing the net to drop back into the water.


Power:              1hp (optional 0.5 hp for smaller rigs)

Capacity:          150 kg load

Energy use:       1 Unit/day


Benefits & Advantages

  • single person can operate the rig
  • reduced drudgery
  • retro-fitted to existing rigs, easy to install and operate
  • increase in total daily catch has been reported due to higher frequency of lifts


Target group: Marginal fisher folk engaged in backwater fishing using Chinese Fishing Nets are the major target group. Around 1000 fishing families in the coastal districts can benefit from this technology. Local entrepreneurs would be transferred the know-how for manufacture and repair of the new technology.


Current Status & Future Plan

The Winch is being produced and supplied to the Chinese fishing net users on demand. It cost Rs.30,000/-.