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squid-baturakit ABUNDANCE OF SQUID…Villagers of Kampung Pantai Batu Rakit, Kuala Terengganu have been eating squid for breakfast, lunch and dinner since late last week. The squid from the South China Sea are rushing towards the beach during high tide but the villagers are not complaining as they are earning extra income with this bonanza. Aznan Yusoff (right) and Mohd Ridzwan Dullah with the squid scooped up in the shallow waters off the beach at Kampung Pantai Batu Rakit.

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KUALA TERENGGANU (NST): Since late last week, the villagers of Kampung Pantai Batu Rakit have been eating squid for breakfast, lunch and dinner — deep-fried, stir-fried, grilled, buttered, breaded, curried, in sambal, and any other way they can think of.

The beach is “swarming” with squid.

“It’s as if the squid from the South China Sea are begging to come out of the ocean and jump into our pots,” said Mohd Ridzwan Dullah.

He said he had never seen anything like it. All the villagers need to do is to walk to the beach, wade in the shallow water and scoop up the squid with buckets or nets, or whatever else comes to hand.

“I’ve even caught some by hand,” said the lorry driver, who claimed he had caught about 100kg of squid.

“The squid is abundant late in the afternoon when the tide is high.”

Aznan Yusoff said many villagers were earning extra money, selling the squid to passers-by or to wholesalers.

“We’re catching more than we can eat or store in the refrigerator.

“We charge RM3 to RM5 a kilo for smaller squid and up to RM8 for the bigger ones. It’s reasonable since we’re just scooping them up.”

Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) Fisheries and Aquaculture Science Department head Prof Sakri Ibrahim said it was rare to find squid in shallow water.

“Squid are usually found in water about 10m deep. They don’t move around much unless their habitat is changing. A change in water temperature or salinity could do the trick.

“In this case, I’m assuming there could have been a change in the pattern of the undercurrent, which not only disturbed their habitat but steered them into the shallow waters off Batu Rakit beach.”

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