The large square nets give this type of fishing its name in French au carrelet. They are usually around two metres square, and with a small mesh that will retain even small shrimps. Modern frames are made of aluminium tubing, and steel cables from each corner link the net to a rope which runs over a pulley to a small electric winch. Once the net is raised out of the water a long-handled net is used to scoop out any of the catch that is intended for the pot before the net is lowered for the next attempt.
The wooden platform, about four metres square, sits on long poles which have been driven into the estuary mud. Sometimes they are located a little way offshore and need to be approached by boat, but more commonly they have a small walkway communicating with the beach.
A wooden shed-like cabin covers most of the platform, often with sufficient open decking to allow easy access to the net and walkway to the shore. The electric winch which lowers and pulls up the net is located inside this small hut, and tables and chairs allow the fishermen (and their friends) to relax between hauls. Some cabins are quite luxurious, with solar panels supplying electricity for an electric winch and the essential fridge (to keep the wine cool!).
The whole construction can be owned by an individual, but the location remains the property of the authority responsible for the estuary and a rent must be paid annually. Every five years a new permit must be obtained, and although this is normally granted it can be refused if the owner has not maintained the structure. Once the property of poor peasant-fishermen these structures are now much sought-after, and hence relatively expensive. Average prices are currently around 20,000 Euros, but can be as much as 100,000, plus permit, plus maintenance costs. Not a cheap hobby, but a very relaxing one.