Saturday, August 18, 2007

Going fishing

With the flags of Sabah and Malaysia flying high, this trawler was literally sailing into the sunset from the northern town of Kudat to one of the most fertile fishing grounds, an area where the South China Sea meets the Sulu Sea.
After taking this picture, I had a sumptious tiger prawn dinner with the owner of 10 fishing trawlers which was among the more than 100 such vessels in Kudat.
Acknowledging that the amount of fish his vessels were landing was on the decline (in some cases, just handful of fish in one trip), the owner said his vessels like others in Kudat operate in two shifts.
In other words, fishing is being carried out 24-7, meaning the fish have no chance to reproduce before they are caught. So the fertile fishing grounds will not be fertile soon.
The fishing vessel owner told me he and his counterparts know what their methods were unsustainable but no one was willing to take the first step to kick off a change.
And then we went back to devouring our prawns sauteed in a spicy butter sauce garnished with curry leaves.
I wondered whether my children would be able to enjoy such a spread of sea food in the future.

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