CAST NET HISTORY
Cast nets were invented by the Chinese thousands of years ago.  There have been Biblical references to cast nets and an even longer historical reputation of them being incredibly difficult to throw with success.
Cast nets are limp circles of mesh netting surrounded on their outer edge by lead weights.  The user is supposed to throw the netting over a school of fish, allow the net to sink then pull the connected pull handlines to close the net around the catch.  While this may sound simple, it takes many users years to master the art.
Primitive cast net had no such handlines, nor did they have center rings. Fishermen simply waded out, threw a perimeter-weighted net over the fish, then waded out to the net and harvested the catch one at a time by hand as the net lay on the bottom in a circle.
All early cast nets, of course, were made by hand. This was done by tying a few meshes in a row, attaching the last mesh in the row to the starting one, then tying a second row of meshes onto the first row, and so on. By increasing the number of meshes in succeeding rows, an ever-enlarging circle of netting was formed. When the desired diameter of the net was reached, the maker then attached some kind of weights around the circumference of the net, and the process was completed. We make handmade nets the same way today, though we use different, more durable materials.
With the coming of nylon fiber in the 1940s, net life was greatly increased. This man-made fiber had more strength and stretch to it and was more impervious to rot, reducing the care and treatment netting required. Then the polyethylene and monofilament lines made the scene in the 1950s, becoming the Cadillac of fishing lines used in the nets and further reducing care and treatment to practically zero.
How long have cast net been around? Well, the fishermen to cast their nets on the right side of ship, then cast nets have been around for at least 2.000 years. Chances are, though, that they have been around longer than that, and they will likely be around for another several thousand years if man and mullet survive that long!