Kg Makam fishermen all set to cash in on bountiful catch
KOTA TINGGI: The monsoon season brings another bounty of sorts for fishermen in Kampung Makam.
The village, in the middle of Kota Tinggi town, is a fishing destination for avid anglers as the Johor River runs by it.
September is a much-awaited time for the fishermen and anglers. It’s when the southwest monsoon comes to an end.
As the transitional monsoon period draws near, heavy rainfall ensues, bringing to the river a bigger number of giant freshwater prawns.
“A fisherman can earn up to RM200 a day in sales,” said Kampung Makam fishermen group chairman Abd Rahim Sampir.
He said the price of a giant freshwater prawn in Johor Baru could fetch about RM100 a kg, while the smaller ones were around RM70 a kg.
They sell their catch to middlemen. Abd Rahim said buyers – individuals or restaurant operators – preferred prawns that were still alive so that they retained their freshness and succulence when cooked.
“So we keep the prawns in a pond or aquarium until they are sold.
“The freshwater prawns caught here are different from those caught elsewhere in that their size is generally bigger and the flesh meatier,” he said.
Macrobrachium rosenbergii, also known as giant river prawns or giant freshwater prawns, is a freshwater species commonly found in Malaysian rivers.
They are identifiable by their size and their bright blue claws, which indicate their sex and maturity.
Matured males have large and robust blue claws and longer and stronger spines than the females, which are also identifiable by the egg clutches they carry under their tail that are orange, brown or black.
To promote the uniqueness of Kampung Makam, the village’s fishermen’s group recently organised a giant freshwater prawn catching competition. Over 70 fishermen and anglers took part.
Big and tasty: The ‘udang galah sepit biru masak lemak’ is one of the famous dishes at Kampung Makam during the fishing season.