Kg Makam fish­er­men all set to cash in on boun­ti­ful catch

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - — Ber­nama

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.

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