Fisherman turns trawl net mender during monsoon season


KOTA BARU: During the monsoon season, many fishermen are left to kick their own heels as it is not safe to go out to the sea.

For Mat Yeh Mamat of Kampung Pulau Gajah in Pengkalan Chepa near here, the north-east monsoon season is the time he takes a new vocation from a fisherman to a trawl net mender and patcher.

It is the time of the year when he is most sought after for his skills in mending and patching trawl nets and this is something he has been doing for the past 10 years to ensure his family continues to have food on the table.

Mat Yeh, 62, said he learned the skill from his late father.

“The monsoon season should not be an excuse for fishermen to while away the time doing nothing.

“As for me, the monsoon season allows me time to earn a living mending and patching fishing nets, ” he said.

The father of two children, aged 17 and 24, said not many people were keen to take up the job as mending and patching the fishing nets was a tedious affair.

“To produce a good trawl net can take between six and 10 days.

“Due to my age, I can only spend about six hours a day to sew, mend and patch the fishing nets, ” he said, adding that he was able to earn RM1,000 a month doing that.

Mat Yeh said he normally received orders for drift net, which is used to catch kembung, selar, bawal and kerisi, and prawn net.

“My customers will normally get or buy the items needed.

“They pay me for the work done and I normally charge RM50 per net, depending on the type of the nets, ” he said. — Bernama

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