Malaysian fisherman catches monster grouper, sells it for S$3,600

In January 2014,  fisherman Khor Swee Boon brought in a 200kg giant grouper, which was sold for RM11,000.
In January 2014, fisherman Khor Swee Boon brought in a 200kg giant grouper, which was sold for RM11,000. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Somewhere north of Teluk Bahang, in Kedah waters, is a spot where monstrous giant groupers dwell.

Fishermen will never tell you where, but every now and then, they bring back the whoppers.

"North. It was caught in the north," was all fisherman Khor Swee Boon, 48, would reveal when he brought a giant grouper that tipped the 200kg weighing scale on Wednesday (July 18) at the Cecil Street Market.

On March 27, Khor hauled up a 152kg monster, which he sold for RM7,600 (S$2,560). At that time, Khor revealed that he caught that fish in Kedah waters north of Teluk Bahang.

In January 2014, Khor brought in a 200kg specimen, which was sold for RM11,000. He refused to say where he caught this.

It is suspected that Khor's secret spot is a shipwreck.

There are about 20 shipwrecks around Penang and several hours' boat ride from Teluk Bahang is one nicknamed "Kapal Besar" (Big Ship).

This is a cargo ship that sank in the early 1960s and it has become an ecosystem for many fish, including giant groupers.

 

A handful of fishing boat charters are known to also possess the coordinates to this wreck and regularly bring anglers to catch giant groupers weighing tens of kilos each.

As for Khor's latest catch, caught by trawling, it will end up as fish bee hoon soup in Weld Quay's Ka Bee Cafe, the same fate which befell the previous catches.

After some haggling, Khor agreed to shave down the selling weight to 197.5kg for RM55 per kg. Ka Bee Cafe owner Chew Kean Ghee, 46, paid RM10,862.50 for it.

Chew has been the buyer of all of Khor's monster catches and with this latest one, Chew said he expected to make 500 bowls of bee hoon soup. The fish's humongous liver, maw and belly will be served as sweetbread.

The feasting began on Wednesday, and Chew said a bowl would cost RM18 (with fish meat) or RM23 (with fish head).