I like the fish calendar. Most people have a mask on their face. I assume the food police insist upon it. No one actually wears it. It’s kind of like seat belts. They are optional till the police give you a ticket. Well in conclusion of my fish market tour, I did see lots of lobster, which I have not seen alive in the Red Sea. There were lots of other fish not seen by me during my dives. It seems that the lack of color indicates that the tasty fish are rather drab. I’d like to know where they net shrimp in such large numbers. And in a random sampling, it appears that squid and octopus are not in demand nor available.
Only a few stalls at the fish market had shark. I guess it is some sort of specialty fish. They were small. Who knows where they were caught or how? Oh, and there were small tuna here and there too. Don’t ask me…” it tastes like chicken” – my stock answer.
There was this one, though, that I have not seen – white spotted guitar fish?
The other section of the fish market is for cleaning your purchase. Lines and rows of men are dressed in aprons and rubber boots waiting to gut and fillet your purchases. It is indeed messy. Women sit on benches outside. Men inside congregate and watch their fish being cleaned and dressed. And then there were women collecting the fish heads for stock.
Stationed only a few feet apart these men clean fish efficiently.
So it is too cold to dive. The water temp is just uncomfortable. Why dive cold when you can wait for better temperatures? Well the wildlife is dead. I admit there are fish I don’t see when I dive. And where did they catch all those shrimp. I am lucky to see two together hiding under a coral. Does the cry, “Here fishy fishy…” really work?
Meanwhile there are a lot of choices. Each booth has a limited selection. Who caught these fish? And why doesn’t everyone buy their fish fresh here?
I visited the fish market on my first visit to Jeddah. It must have been a strange request but the driver knew where to take me. We walked about and then were thrown out by an irate policeman when they saw I was taking pictures. So it took three years and a bit of courage to enter again. No police in sight and I realized it was an anomaly the last time. Still, I kept to myself and was discrete in my street photography style. I only put the camera to my eye a few times. Mostly I just let the wide angle capture the scene.
Fresh fish has no smell. The same cannot be said for the parking lot where the sour stench is quite distinctly briny. But within the produce is all fresh. Piled high I wondered how time sensitive it was to sell the piles of dead fish before they were no longer good. Neatly piled shrimp and lobster. Everything was dead. In a Chinese the seafood is kept alive and swimming right up till the purchase.