Workers cleaning the cockles and mussels at Malaysian Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) jetty (LKIM). Pix by AMRAN HAMID.

YAN: More than 200 coastal fishermen in Kuala Sala here are enjoying an extraordinary windfall after landing more than a tonne of cockles and mussels daily.

The unusual catch, collected from Pulau Bunting waters near here, has turned the Malaysian Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) jetty here into a sort of carnival with customers making a beeline to buy them at a bargain of between RM1 and RM4 per kilogramme.

On normal days, the jetty attracts only suppliers and fishmongers.

Besides the fishermen, the women here are also earning extra income by sorting out the cockles and mussels before they were sold.

LKIM spokesman acknowledged that their catches was higher than usual this year.

He said normally, cockles are found in waters near Pulau Bunting while mussels in waters near Jerlun, Kuala Tebengau and Kuala Kangkung.

"However, it is quite extraordinary that a lot of mussels are found in the area known to be the main habitat for cockles," he said when met at the jetty.

Fisherman Khalil Abdul Razak, 45, said it was normal for them to land more cockels and mussle between February and May but this year, they are enjoying an unusual windfall.

He said besides being sold for local market, the catches are also being exported to Thailand.

"Things are merrier than usual as consumers are buying directly from us due to the abundant supply," he said.

Kedah Fishermen Association (Nekad) chairman Ahmad Rudin Hussin said besides Kuala Sala, Kuala Kedah is also another location where fishermen land their cockles and mussels catches.