Un­ruly weather keeps Se­lan­gor fish­er­man from go­ing out to sea

The Star Malaysia - - Nation -

KLANG: Un­sta­ble weather con­di­tions are keep­ing fish­er­men away from the sea, re­sult­ing in a drop in their yield.

This, said vet­eran fish­er­man Chia Yeow Leong, has led to a slight in­crease in the price of fish and other seafood as the year comes to a close.

Chia said that in his area, the rains were ac­com­pa­nied by strong winds.

“It is un­safe and the boats can over­turn. This is one of the main rea­sons why fish­er­men are not go­ing to sea daily,” said the head­man at the fish­ing vil­lage of Ba­gan Sek­in­chan.

Sek­in­chan is lo­cated on Se­lan­gor’s north­ern coast­line.

Vis­i­bil­ity, said Chia, was also poor at sea dur­ing stormy weather and fish­er­men feared col­lid­ing with each other’s boats.

On days that were not so windy and stormy, Chia added, fish­er­men from his vil­lage made short trips to sea be­cause they had to make ends meet.

“They can’t go out to the deep ar­eas, so the catch is not very good and the quan­tity is poorer than what they can get dur­ing nor­mal weather con­di­tions,” he said, adding that this was prob­a­bly the rea­son for the in­crease in the price of fish.

Fish­er­man Mohd Ja­man Idris said his coun­ter­parts in some ar­eas of Jo­hor, Me­laka, Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan and most parts of Se­lan­gor were not as badly af­fected as those in the north­ern and east coast states.

Mohd Za­man is based in Morib, on the south­ern Se­lan­gor coast­line.

“We are in the mid­dle of the Straits of Malacca, so the land mass on the right and left of the sea pas­sage acts as a buf­fer zone against the wind and rain,” he said.

Since the north­ern and east coast states face the open sea, the coast­line there bears the brunt of any stormy weather, he said.

“How­ever, there is still im­pact from the rainy sea­son at the end of the year in Morib, with fish­er­men catch­ing less fish than they do dur­ing reg­u­lar weather,” he added.

On the in­crease in fish prices, with even that of ikan kem­bung (mack­erel) – once con­sid­ered the poor man’s fish – hit­ting RM20 a kg, Mohd Ja­man said this was prob­a­bly due to mid­dle­men and fish­mon­gers.

Ikan kem­bung, he said, is usu­ally caught in wa­ters around the north­ern states where it is more chal­leng­ing for fish­er­men to go out to sea dur­ing bad weather.

Trader Mohd Izarudin Zailan, who runs a stall at the Ba­gan Lalang fresh fish mar­ket, said there was a short­age of sup­ply.

“For the past few days, rain has hin­dered boats from go­ing to sea, so the sup­ply is low.

“Once the weather im­proves, they will go back to sea. Prices are ex­pected to be more or less sta­ble and won’t sky­rocket,” said Mohd Izarudin.

Kuala Lumpur Hoi Seong As­so­ci­a­tion (fish whole­salers) pres­i­dent Toh Song Thua said fish prices were slightly higher.

He said the whole­sale price for mack­erel is now RM15 to RM16 per kg, slightly higher than the usual RM14 to RM15.

Black pom­fret is be­ing sold at RM28 per kg, com­pared to the usual price of RM25 to RM26.

Toh said fish­er­men were still go­ing out to sea de­spite the rain.

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