Feb 21, 2011

The Fisherman in Merimbula ― 2 Feb 2011


3 weeks ago, I finally left Melbourne and hit the road up the East Coast of Oz. Advised by Emre to mos def check out the town of Merimbula on our way to Sydney, so we did. It was a cool, cloudy day in the seemingly sleepy town. We drove around aimlessly, only to find that most of the beaches were deserted. Finally, we pulled up onto a small wooden harbour where no more than 10 people were fishing (including 2 cute likkle boys fishing with their father). And that's when I met this fisherman.


He had been fishing in the same spot all day long. I spoke to the man with awe and intrigue. He seemed a tad peeved by me, even though he answered all of my pressing questions politely. "What kind of fish have you caught here?" "Salmon and Bonito," he retorted. In the photo above, the striped fish on the left is bonito, and the one on the right is salmon.


The man was in the process of scaling and removing the insides of all of the fish he had caught. I watched with horror. Just joking! I wasn't horrified in the least! In fact, vivid flashbacks of childhood seized my mind. All I could think of was my Moms vigorously scaling fresh fish in the kitchen sink back in our old house (the house I grew up in). Ahhhhh... sweet, fishy memories. And the sound! That unique, irksome, kool yet disgusting sound of fish scales being removed and flying all over the damn place.


Whilst removing the insides of the salmon he had caught, without hesitation, the fisherman handed Mr. Salmon's heart to André. So of course I had chance to hold Mr. Salmon's heart in my hand too! Ecstatic and giddy at the same time, I stared at the small red warm thing in my hand for far too long.


I asked the fisherman if there was a maximum amount of fish he was allowed to catch. In a matter-of-fact fashion, he replied, "Why, as many as I like." When it was time to say bye-bye, I thanked the fisherman sincerely and wished him a good night, though I regret not asking the fisherman his name. On our way back to the car, I saw this 'Fish Measuring Station' sign in the photo above. It was then that I put 2+2 together and realized the fisherman was Aboriginal, since Aboriginals in Oz aren't limited to a 'Bag Limit' of how many fish they catch. Sigh. I dreamt of Tasmanian salmon fillet that night... baked to a perfect medium, thank you. And if possible, served with a dollop of dijon mustard on top.


  1. I've said it once, and I'll say it again: SINIGANG NA ISDA!

  2. True dat, sis. Sinigang ain't the same without salmon fish heads bobbin' up and down in it.