Fishy Business

Kedah, with its vast paddy fields, may be better known as the rice bowl of Malaysia, but the state houses another industry crucial in feeding Malaysians a staple condiment – the anchovy (ikan bilis).

Accounting for 45% of the entire Malaysian anchovy fleet, the majority of anchovy fishermen in the country are based in Kedah.

With their wages being paid based on their catch for the day, the fishermen don't earn a whole lot despite the high risk and uncertainty in the industry and their heavy dependence on the weather and season. Nevertheless, a crew made up of both young and old men opt for the life of a fisherman to live free at sea.

These photos show a little of the life of the fishermen in Tanjung Dawai.



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