Tag Archives: kota marudu

Shooting sharks at Tamu Kota Marudu

We went back to Kudat last weekend for holiday. I had the opportunity to go to Kota Marudu Tamu (Sundays open market here in Sabah) for a test of my new Nikon D40 that I bought from lelong.com.my last month.

It’s actually my Sunday mornings ritual every time I went back to Kudat – a visit to Sikuati Tamu for fresh fish and vegetables, but this time around, my wife suggested that we go to Kota Marudu instead. My brother in law also said that Kota Marudu’s Tamu is bigger, and I could find more local people to shoot.

When I arrived there, I found a lot of people and things that were very familiar to me. But then, one trader pulled my attention to what she sells – salted and dried baby sharks.

The endangered species awareness

I was did not aware that these sharks are endangered species according to IUCN 2008 Red List, until I went for my open water scuba diving license. I even promoted sharks fin in my website before but I removed the entry when somebody pointed out the issue. I will not be helping those sharks if I continued to promote sharks fin soup (which are available here in Kota Kinabalu) in my website.

If I am correct, the sharks that are featured in this blog post is Carcharhinus borneensis, or common name is Borneo shark. Any icththyologist here? Correct me if I am wrong…

The photos

It was not that difficult to find traders who sells sharks here at the Tamu. I found at least 3 traders selling sharks, a trader sells salted sharks and the other two sells fresh caught sharks. I was shocked when the salted sharks trader offers me only RM2 (~USD0.55) for a pile of 3 of juvenile (babies) sharks.

I did not intend to buy those fish at the beginning, but I did not feel comfortable shooting those sharks while the trader looking at me with a peculiar stare. After snapping few shots, I pulled out my wallet and gave her 2 RM1 notes. She packed the left pile of sharks and handed to me. After exchanging smiles, I thanked her and left.

In case you are wondering what I did with those sharks that I bought; I buried it after finished shooting the above photos. I did not have the heart to eat it. My wife thought I was weird…

With the salted sharks in hand, I then walked to the fresh fish market, hoping to find more sharks to shoot. Fortunately, I found another 2 traders selling fresh caught sharks.

The first one that I saw sells at least 3 7-kilogram sharks. Two of the sharks were sliced nicely but the one that you see in the photo is without its fins. I am not sure how much they sell the sharks per kilogram, as I did not dare to ask…

Seeing me shooting his sharks, the guy who trade the sharks mumbled with a grin, “wah… ini masuk national geographic ke animal planet?” (Will this be in national geographic or animal planet?). I smiled at him, stopped snapping and left.

The last fish monger had only one fish. Looks juvenile, around 80 cm with fins intact. Most probably they were all the same species.

The references




I wish to see alive and swimming sharks while diving here in TARP. I noticed they spotted whale sharks at Gaya Island waters in March 2008…