It's raining shrimps in Tok Bali, Bachok

Last update: 27/12/2019

PASIR PUTEH, Dec 27 -- The current monsoon season has brought unexpected windfall to more than 1,000 fishermen in Kelantan in the form of abundant shrimps swimming near the shore.

With flood waters receded and coupled with clear weather, these traditional fishermen in Tok Bali and Bachok here have been steadily earning between RM200 and RM600 daily by catching shrimps of various species, beginning this week.

Semerak (Tok Bali) Area Fishermen Association chairman Zahari Samat said shrimps from various species including ‘solo’ (sua lor or greasyback) and ‘rotan’ (mantis) have ‘flooded’ the coastal waters here like never before.

“Compared to the floods in 2017 and 2018, coastal fishermen were only earning between RM100 and RM200 daily then,” he said when met here today.

Zahari said the unexpected extra income, nearly triple of normal catch, would help ease the fishermen’s burden on their preparations for new school session next week.

Meanwhile, Bachok Area Fishermen Association chairman Saripudin Ishak said some of the 800 members of the association had been out in the sea for the last four days to catch shrimps.

However, he said, the fishermen had been reminded to be extra careful constantly as the monsoon season would only end in March next year.

Mohd Rosdi Mat, 47, a Tok Bali fisherman, said he has been earning between RM500 and RM600 a day from shrimp sales which he divided into four categories, namely, A class shrimps priced at RM38 per kg, RM18 (for sua lor), RM9 (mantis) and RM6 for ‘udang halus’ or ‘geragau’ (acetes).

He also expressed his gratitude as the exceptional income generated in the current monsoon season has allowed him to spend on the needs of his three school-going children.

Meanwhile, Kelantan Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director Maritime Captain Muhd ??Nur Syam Asmawi Yaacob said the agency had been conducting surveys around the areas yesterday and found that the weather was moderate and it was safe for the fishermen to go down to sea.

However, he said, the fishermen must adhere to the necessary safety instructions including having life jackets and to ensure adequate fuel supply and boat engine was functioning properly.