These ancient fish hauling contraptions date back to the years of foreign trade with the Malabar Coast. While some credit the Chinese for its origins, others say it was the Portuguese. Some of the nets are more than 80 years old, having been recast several times. Made of teak, and operated with stone weights, they are lowered in the waters till they entrap fish and are then hauled up. They are more than 10m high and the net can stretch up to 20m. While many lie disused, outdated by modern fishing methods, conservationists are trying to bring them under a heritage label.