Fishing harbor Malpe

A visit to the sea port of Malpe

I don’t visit Malpe beach very often.  I do however have fond memories of being there during childhood and can still feel the queer sensation of the receding waves of the Arabian sea drawing away the sand from between my toes and around my feet. A long time back my maternal grandfather had a house on the beachfront, but then they moved inshore by the time I was born. In spite of all the fond memories, I  don’t like how commercialisation has affected  the beach.

I don’t remember visiting the port though. It was off bounds for us. This time however, I took the opportunity of visiting it. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

The boats start coming in with their catch early in the morning
The boats start coming in with their catch early in the morning

 

dsc_0247-1024x722
Fish is unloaded from the hold where it is stored on ice and hosed with fresh water from the sea

 

Fish is dumbed on the dock in piles onto the dock
Fish is dumped on the dock in piles or kept in plastic bins

 

Here a 750kg shark which has been unloaded. The top fin had been cut off. It will be sold for a better price and used to make shark fin soup
Here a 750kg shark has been unloaded to the dock. The top fin had been cut off. It will probably be sold for a higher price and used to make shark fin soup

 

Each pile of fish is auctioned off to the highest bidder before the next lot of fish is unloaded.
Each pile of fish is auctioned off to the highest bidder before the next lot of fish is unloaded.

 

Some of them are shipped off to neighbouring states and to canning companies
Some of them are shipped off to neighbouring states and to canning factories to produce canned fish which is probably exported as canned fish has started selling only recently in India and it looks like it is sourced from Thailand.

 

Others are bought by hoteliers or by people who divide the cost between themselves like these fish sellers have done.
Others are bought by hoteliers or by people who divide the cost between themselves like these fish sellers have done. Their trays are made out of the sturdy waterproof sheets of the flower sheath of the Arecanut tree. I remember my grandmother using the same when preparing fish as we had a lot of tress in our garden
The backbone of this is the manufacture and transportation of ice.
The backbone of this business is the manufacture and transport of ice without which the fish would never reach the shore on account of the year round hot and humid climate.

 

Here the ice is being grated and being blown by fans into waiting trucks
Here the ice is being grated and being blown by fans into waiting trucks

 

The small mini trucks supply this ice both to the fishing boats and to larger trucks which carry the fish to other parts of the state or to neighbouring states
The small mini trucks supply this ice both to the fishing boats and to larger trucks which carry the fish to other parts of the state or to neighbouring states

 

The boats are small and have cramped quarters and each one has a name, usually named after some goddess. They also have an eye painted on the body to ward off the evil eye.
The boats are small and have cramped quarters and each one has a name, usually named after some god,  goddess or named after the owner’s children. They also have an eye painted on the body to ward off the evil eye.

 

Yet, they manage to fit in the bare essentials they need to survive the fishing trip.
Yet, they manage to fit in the bare essentials they need to survive the fishing trip.

 

Once the fish is sold, repairs if any are undertaken on the nets. This looks like a new net being prepared for the boat but I'm not 100% sure.
Once the fish is sold, repairs if any are undertaken on the nets. This looks like a new net being prepared for the boat but I’m not 100% sure.
There is always time for some cricket before heading out to the high seas again
There is always time for some cricket before heading out to the high seas again

 

Finally its time to head back
Finally its time to head back…

 

...after refuelling on the way out of the harbour
…after refuelling on the way out of the harbour

 

Thanks to this elaborate network, much to the delight of our cats, Yashodha the fishwife brings us mostly fresh fish every day!
Thanks to this elaborate network, much to the delight of our cats, Yashodha the fishwife brings us mostly fresh fish every day!

 

Here is a birds eye view from Google Earth. On the top left is the ship yard, extreme right the fish market. In the middle you can see the boats anchored in the port. The long strip on the bottom leads to and from the sea.
Here is a birds eye view from Google Earth. On the top left is the ship yard, extreme right the fish market. In the middle you can see the boats anchored in the port. The long strip on the bottom leads to and from the sea.

 

 

 

 

This post has been read 238 times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bot check : Please complete this simple math so we know you are human. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.