Although fishing in Lakshadweep is predominantly carried out through the pole and line method, nets or bala are traditionally used for bait fish collection inside the lagoon. There are different kinds of nets depending on the types of fishes and size of the net. The ola bala are nets made using coconut leaves. Fishes are attracted to the shade that the leaves of these nets provide and they are caught in the process. Maari are nets made of rope used to catch bigger fishes such as Karuthonte kunj. The nets along with other fishing equipment are stored in a pandyala (temporary sheds erected on the beach). These are also places where boats are made. Catching fish using bala is a collective activity involving more than one person Catching bait fish in the lagoon (or billam ) is often accompanied by songs related to the sea and the fishes.
Bala – Title for the Story
Contributor: Lakshmi Pradeep