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Mindy Lo, Christopher Joyce  

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Fish restaurant discussion.  

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Hong Kong fish trade discussion. Tape ends in mid-sentence.  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
18 Feb 2004

    Geography
  • Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    Locality
  • Lei Yue Mun Fish Market
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 22.27535   114.18668
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
  • SONY TCD-D8
    Microphones
  • Sennheiser MKH 40
  • Sennheiser MKH 30
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Decoded MS stereo;

NPR/NGS
RADIO EXPEDITIONS
Show: Hong Kong
Log of DAT #2
Engineer: Marty Kurcias
Date: February 18, 2004

0:03 MK: Okay this is tape 2, February 18th 2004 on the Star Ferry in Hong Kong. Radio Expeditions and this is a MS pair with the low filter out. And this is from the front of the ferry.

0:31 waves, talking

0:45 waves

1:54 boat passing, waves

2:17 waves

2:44 boat passing in background, waves

2:54 waves, talking

3:30 waves (louder)

4:30 waves, talking

4:43 talking, moving around, waves

5:19 high pitch beep

5:20 talking, waves

5:26 something falling

5:27 moving around, walking, talking

5:44 cell phone, walking, talking

5:54 walking, talking

6:00 woman in loudspeaker, walking, talking

6:26 walking, talking

7:17 MK: Okay that last part was ambience of the ferry at the bow as we arrived back at the Hong Kong side and then exiting the ferry with the group of other passengers and walking into the terminal.

7:40 CHANGE OF SCENE

7:41 engine

8:36 person yelling in background, engine

8:44 engine

8:55 loud noise (can't decipher)

9:05 engine, talking in background

9:16 loud noise (can't decipher

9:20 FX mike

9:21 engine, talking

9:40 engine

9:56 MK: Okay, this is just sound in the ferry terminal.

9:58 engine, talking

10:06 talking, walking

11:23 change machine

11:26 bell

11:35 talking

11:41 woman on loudspeaker, talking

12:32 woman on loudspeaker, squeaking sound

13:00 buzzing, woman on loudspeaker, squeaking sound

13:25 woman on loudspeaker, squeaking

13:28 squeaking, walking, talking

14:13 walking, talking

14:21 whistle

14:25 walking, talking

14:54 waves, talking

15:34 CHANGE OF SCENE

15:34 Yvonne (YV): ¿on all the time now?

15:36 MK: Yeah

15:38 YV: Okay

15:37 CJ: No, no, that's quite alright

15:39 MK: Okay, and¿

15:41 CJ: You should hear, when we do this in the field with people, especially in a biology group or field biologists, we get hours of people urinating in the bushes, men, men.

15:48 YV: Oh, well

15:50 MK: Okay, and then this is the uh MS Pair a 40 and a 30, Sennheisers, and a D7 with a low frequency out. And we're at the Lamyung¿

16:09 YV: Layu, Layumun

16:12 MK: Layumun fish market in Hong Kong on Wednesday the 18th of February. And we need to do one thing here if we can just stop for a second and¿

16:26 YV: Watch your backs

16:27 CJ: Watch out behind you

16:28 MK: Oops, yeah, um, Chris I just need to do a sync signal here so if would just clap your hands here and this will be the sync signal for the two mikes

16:36 CJ claps

16:38 MK: Great

16:40 CJ: Never done that before, ah, you've always got something new. It's pretty quiet here.

16:46 YV: It is, it's early, it's early, and I guess this is something, if you decide it's particularly interesting there would be time to come back just for other sound. Because this gets more and more busy into the evening. So you get more and more sounds, more people moving around.

17:03 MK: You're hearing her okay on that?

17:04 CJ: Yes, fine.

17:06 YV: But we're not yet inside, so you'll see once we get inside. It's actually covered. And they're just beginning to open. See this one's closed here. These guys will be open.

17:20 CJ: How many shops here?

17:25 YV: I have no idea, I guess around fifty

17:26 loud sawing sound

17:35 YV: I would guess around fifty in total and you'll see too it's a little bit warmer inside.

17:46 MK: Lots of dogs.

17:47 talking, walking

17:54 CJ: And this is a place not just for, where fish are being sold but also restaurants.

18:01 YV: Yes, and this¿cant hear

18:03 walking, talking

18:27 CJ: So when fish are delivered, live fish are delivered¿cant hear

18:29 walking, talking

19:12 YV/CJ talking but cant hear

19:15 walking, talking

20:09 water (?), talking

23:30 moving around large objects, talking, water (?)

23:52 MK: Chris, Chris, Chris!

24:00 water, talking

25:08 loud sawing sound, talking

25:25 water, talking

25:26 woman from Hong Kong speaking in English with CJ about a price and the color of a fish (can't hear clearly), water, moving around, talking

29:14 loud banging sound

29:20 woman from Hong Kong speaking in English with CJ about the story, water, moving around, talking

30:19 MK: Chris, wait up I'm gonna get some ambience, this is ambience¿very muffled

30:32 moving around, buzzing, walking, talking

32:16 MK: Okay that's ambience in the first place. In this little shop and then they turned around and we've got some ambience¿can't hear

32:24 moving around, buzzing, walking, talking

32:30 CJ talking to MK but can't hear clearly

33:07 loud clap

33:09 MK: One more time, okay this is sync two, walk up here for a second, okay. Okay this is sync number two, clap.

33:23 loud clap

33:24 CJ: Okay

33:27 YV: Am I working?

33:38 CJ: Yes, you're working again, you weren't for a while

33:32 MK: Okay, let me just get some sound over here

33:34 moving around, talking

33:40 MK: Okay this is the second location. They turned around in the little fish shop

33:44 moving around, talking, water (?)

34:51 MK: Okay

34:52 bell

34:55 YV: Okay let's go strait to this¿and then um¿

34:58 bell, talking, walking

35:00 talking, walking, water

35:58 MK: Okay this is ambi in the Kumlay seafood stall

36:03 water sounds, talking in background

36:48 YV talking but can't hear

36:52 water sounds, talking in background

37:10 CJ talking but can't hear

37:20 CJ/YV talking but can't hear

37:30 water sounds, talking in background

37:50 CJ: Hello, I'm Chris

38:04 YV: Sorry this is Chris

38:05 Mindy Lo (ML): Yes, I remember

38:06 YV: Maybe not but they look similar, yeah, from National Public Radio in the States

38:13 ML: I try my best, okay

38:14 CJ: Oh no that's fine, that's fine¿you wanna come over here and mike this?

38:22 moving around, talking in background

38:29 YV: Now this is your business, is it? With your husband you have this business?

38:30 ML: Uh, yes, yes

38:32 YV: Okay, and this is linked to the restaurant here?

38:34 ML: That is my restaurant, yes

38:36 CJ: Can you just say your name for me?

38:38 ML: Uh, Mindy

38:40 CJ: Your whole name?

38:42 ML: Uh, whole name is Lo

38:44 CJ: Mindy Lo?

38:45 ML: Yes

38:45 CJ: So what fish are you going to show us?

38:48 ML: Uh, uh, you mean the seafood? Yeah. So maybe I showing to you the crab. This crab is from the China and the Tiger Pass. It's the same from the China. Maybe you take, have a look.

39:04 CJ: Yeah, let's have a look at those big fish.

39:07 ML: The dragon grouper. Yeah¿those is my husband take care. We take care those is almost nineteen years.

39:20 CJ: This fish is nineteen years old?

39:22 ML: Yeah, nineteen years old.

39:24 CJ: How much do you think it weighs? It's enormous.

39:26 ML: But we just only for display not for sale. But somebody asked me, they request to buy the fish. But they offered the price is uh 20,000 dollars for one.

39:38 CJ: One fish

39:39 ML: One fish, for each. But we just only for, like for display, not for sale.

39:44 CJ: And you've had this fish in this tank for nineteen years?

39:48 CJ: That's almost as old as you are.

39:50 ML: Sorry?

39:51 CJ: That's almost, it's older than you

39:54 ML: No, no, I am older than those laughing

39:56 CJ: Not much, and it's almost as big as you are

40:01 ML: How big?

40:02 CJ: It's almost as big as you are, how much, how big is it? How much does it weigh you think?

40:07 ML: Those, everyone is around sixty, sixty kilo, kilogram.

40:13 CJ: Sixty kilogram

40:14 ML: Six zero, yes

40:15 CJ: Why would you keep a fish for nineteen years?

40:17 ML: Because uh, because uh, my husband is take care of those, is small fish until now. Uh, before small size, is a small, small fish, around one kilogram (?). But now is over sixty kilograms so we don't like to uh, somebody asked high price but we don't like to sell. Those is my family member, yeah laughing.

40:39 CJ: Do they have names?

40:41 ML: Uh, no. Just only A, B, C. laughing. No name, it's the law.

40:47 CJ: And it's a giant grouper.

40:48 ML: Giant grouper.

40:49 CJ: And where do you think it came from? Do you know?

40:51 ML: Uh, sorry?

40:54 CJ: Where did, what country, did it come from China or did it come from Philippines?

40:56 ML: Uh, this is from South China Sea, I think it's China, from China. But I forget where they come from, yeah.

41:06 CJ: Now, if you sold it, what would it be, would it be for a banquet or a celebration or a birthday?

41:15 ML: Uh, you mean those, the big fish?

41:18 CJ: Yeah

41:19 ML: Actually for the, for dinner, somebody request for dinner. And for fongshoi, you know fongshoi? Chinese like put the big fish, put back to the sea and then the family will be luck. Do you understand?

41:34 CJ: That's a lot of, yes, that's a lot of money for one dinner, for a banquet.

41:41 ML: I don't think so.

41:42 CJ: No?

41:43 ML: Yes, because uh, nobody like to order the big fish for they eat. Actually they like to choose the smaller, smaller size.

41:55 CJ: And these are also giant grouper?

41:56 ML: Some is giant grouper, some is slapper (?) It's different, different kind grouper.

42:03 CJ: And is, is keeping a fish like this for nineteen years, is it good luck?

42:10 ML: Uh, for me it's not this means, you know. We just only take care of those so we don't like for sale. Uh all, all those we, we prefer for sale. Because we, for sale, you know? So just only this¿

42:32 CJ: Are there special times and celebrations like the new year when people buy more live fish?

42:36 ML: Uh, yes, uh, for example Chinese New Year, Christmas for my business is better. So somebody like to bought some seafood. Not just only for fish, the lobster here.

42:56 CJ: Where do you get the fish? Where do they come from? Who do you buy them from?

43:00 ML: Uh, we, we buy from uh whole sale at a retailer, retailer. But all the fish is from different country, not in Hong Kong. So all the seafood is high price. It's a high price.

43:34 CJ: Which one? Oh yeah. Oh, yeah, why is the red fish more expensive?

43:32 ML: Oh, uh¿

43:34 CJ: The red color

43:35 ML: Because the red fish is, the meat is better than the grouper. But you know depends the people like it the fish meat is smooth or solid. But Chinese like it the fish meat is smooth.

44:00 CJ: Smooth

44:01 ML: Smooth yeah, so the people like prefer choose the red fish. So the red fish the price is higher. But he red fish is all from Philippines and Australia. Yeah.

44:16 CJ: Also the size is important, it should not be too big.

44:20 ML: Uh yes, uh, this is uh, the size is around 1 caddy (?) to 2 caddy (?). This is the maximum.

44:31 CJ: Why?

44:33 ML: Uh, because the red fish the fishermen don't like take care very, very big. Because if the red fish is too big so the meat is solid, not smooth, yeah.

44:51 CJ: Anything else we should know?

44:52 YV: Maybe how many fish, Mindy how many, for example these ones, these broYV the tiger, the tiger grouper we call it, and there's a camouflage grouper, so the broYV spotted groupers like this. Where do they come from?

45:12 ML: Oh, uh, most uh, most from the Philippines and the South China Sea, yes. Just only these two place, not Hong Kong.

45:22 YV: Not from Hong Kong. Do they come from mariculture or do they come from the sea, directly from the sea?

45:26 ML: From the sea.

45:37 YV: From the sea

45:28 ML: Uh, but some is from the farm, from farm, not from sea, yes

45:33 YV: Okay, so from mariculture, okay. Which ones come from the farm, is it just one or two types that come from the farm or is it¿?

45:41 ML: Uh, the green one, and uh the broYV

45:44 YV: This one?

45:45 ML: This one, the green one

45:46 YV: So they're parrot fish?

45:47 ML: Yes, and this one

45:50 YV: Okay, so this is what we call it's um sort of an orange spotted grouper, we call that one. This one comes from the farm as well. What about the, what about the Some?

46:00 ML: Some, um

46:03 YV: Does that come from a farm or does that come from the wild, or¿?

46:04 ML: From both, yeah, Some is a good quality seafood, good quality fish, so the price is uh very, very expensive. All the Some call for English is Napoleon fish, yeah

46:31 YV: Napoleon fish or, or we also have other names like Mowri (?), Mowri rass (?), there are lots of names, there are lots of names, yes, also the Humphead Rass

46:30 ML: So, Some is a very expensive fish, but depends some people. For me, I don't like Some because the meat too smooth.

46:41 YV: Do you, you've worked here for a long time, is that right?

46:44 ML: Yes

46:45 YV: For a number of years, in your experience selling fish, do you see any change in the Some, in the Humphead Rass, this fish, do you see any changes in the numbers that you get in your shop or has it been the same throughout your experience?

47:04 ML: Uh, it's the same

47:06 YV: Same, yes. So it's quite easy to get this fish?

47:07 ML: Yes

47:09 CJ: Let me ask you if, if you're a chef in a restaurant cooking the fish, and this kind of fish, say a Rass or a grouper, how would you prepare it?

47:20 ML: You mean the cooking?

47:21 CJ: Yeah, what style, do you put sauce on it, or is there a special way to cook it?

47:24 ML: Uh, I ask my husband, explain to you, I don't know how to arrange, how to cook. For me, I don't know how to cook. But I think my husband, uh, he can, he can explain to you, yeah, so can he? Sorry, he don't know how to say in English.

47:45 YV: That's ok. Do you want to translate for him?

47:47 CJ: Can you translate for him?

47:48 ML: I'll try my best

47:50 YV: Maybe if he explains

47:51 ML speaking in Chinese

47:55 CJ: How do you prepare it to eat?

47:56 ML speaking in Chinese

48:00 ML's husband speaking in Chinese

48:02 ML: So, he, he must kill the, he kill the fish first

48:09 ML's husband speaking in Chinese

48:12 ML: Depends the fish the size, small size or big size

48:17 ML's husband speaking in Chinese

48:24 ML: If for example the fish is around 1 and a half keddy (?), the rate one and a half keddy (?)

48:31 ML's husband speaking in Chinese

48:40 ML: After, the water after boiling, uh, around five minutes so you put the fish steam around fifteen¿five minute again so the fish is good, good taste, so very simple.

49:00 CJ: And that's all?

49:01 ML: That's all

49:02 CJ: No sauce, no special sauces?

49:05 ML: We put some ginger and some oil and sauces. So that's all. Because all live seafood it's fresh, so uh how to cook depends to you it's the same delicious. But don't steam too long time. Yes.

49:21 CJ: Okay, thank you

49:22 ML: Any questions?

49:24 CJ: Thank you very much

49:30 ML: I try my best, sir

49:31 CJ: You're very good

49:33 YV: Mindy, do you have a card? Please, that would be great

49:34 ML: Yes

49:36 MK: I'm gonna get some sound in here, this is more ambience at Mindy's fish stall. And this is on the MS again

49:46 talking, water

50:28 MK: Okay let's take the ambience from here.

50:30 talking, water

50:56 MK: Okay, best to use this part after all these school kids went by

51:00 talking, water

51:30 water, some talking in background

54:28 MK: Okay, that's the end of the general ambience of Mindy's fish stall, now I'm going to get some close up gurgling in here of the water tanks.

54:36 water gurgling, some talking in background

55:37 talking, water

55:45 water gurgling, some talking in background

57:24 MK: Okay end of that ambience

57: 25 talking, moving around, water

57:34 ML: Uh, I don't understand

57:35 YV: Because one of the things that is in the very nice sound is cooking. So I wondered if anyone is cooking right now that they can record with their, with their microphone. Just the sound of cooking.

57:51 ML: Oh, you want to¿

57:52 YV: Just, I don't know maybe too early.

57:55 ML: Too early, yeah, you must, if you want uh, if you want to get the sound, so I prefer around 6:30, half past six because¿I think around six thirty just only get the sound.

58:16 talking, moving around

59:06 CJ: Well, I think we're¿

59:07 talking, moving around

1:00:18 CHANGE OF SCENE

1:00:20 MK: Okay, this was in another part of the market. Over by the edge of the water, you can hear some boats and stuff.

1:00:30 helicopter, boats, water lapping

1:02:08 MK: That ought to be enough of that

1:02:09 CJ: Yeah, I want to¿

1:02:10 silence

1:02:13 CJ: You rolling?

1:02:16 MK: Okay this is uh, Chris is Yvonne again in Mindy's stall, we can use the same ambience as before

1:02:21 CJ: Mindy's place, we're at Mindy's place, the place that means Mindy's place. So we've seen their favorite I guess you'd call them pet giant groupers, which they won't sell. But a host of other fish that are for sale that are from coral reefs. Um, obviously it's a tradition that's not going to disappear, particularly as China becomes wealthier and more people can afford this very expensive luxury. Um, what does that mean for the coral reefs and for the fish that come from the coral reefs? Does this spell doom or are there ways to provide the market and still be able to conserve the fish that live in the reef?

1:03:03 YV: Yeah, that's a very important question. Um, what we've seen up to now is that many areas that have been heavily fished for some of these species that we've been seeing in the market have become over two or three years, have become very diminished of some of the preferred species. And as a result of that, businesses or fishermen have moved on to every more distant fishing grounds. So if there is an increase in demand which is what is expected, then it's very appropriate to ask how can that demand be accommodated? Given the, really what is the biological limits of these resources. And they're naturally vulnerable to heavy levels of fishing, so.

1:03:53 CJ: I like the scientific way that you restate the question.

1:03:56 YV: laughing It's important and it's a very difficult question to answer. There are a number of approaches and I think one of the most obvious ones that comes to people's minds is to ask whether mariculture, aquaculture, fish farming, could begin to fill the gap, the demand supply gap. And I think there is quite a lot of hope that mariculture, when it's practices properly, could help to supply some of the fish. But in all these tanks that we've been looking at you see a very wide range of fish. You see the different colors and I mean this is, there's quite a diverse range of species here and mariculture at the moment and probably into the foreseeable future will only be able to provide a limited number, two or three at most.

1:04:45 CJ: Two or three species?

1:04:46 YV: Two or three species of the ones you're seeing, maybe a couple more in a few years time, but no where like the diversity of species that we're seeing. So first of all mariculture can't address that diversity, the second thing with mariculture is that there are some problems at the moment, which I believe will be solved. I think the more we look at what's going on in mariculture, the more interest and incentive there will be to solve those problems. And one of them is that species that are cultured, in other words they're grown out from a small size into a large marketable size are very often, at least the groupers, the kind of fish you see here, and the kind of fish important in this trade, they are fed with wild fish themselves, very often.

1:05:26 And when we look at what we call the FCRs, the feed conversion ratio, you have to put eight kilogram of wild feed, to make one kilogram of food fish. One of these live fish that you see in the tanks. That's very inefficient in terms of energy conversion and it's a real problem that's associated with using carnivores, meat eating fish for mariculture. That's one of the problems. The second problem, there is a lot of work incidentally in trying to improve that, and also in substituting proteins, vegetable proteins for fish proteins. So I think we will see some progress. That's our hope in terms of fish feed.

1:06:07 The second things that's happening with some of the groupers that you see here is that there's a bit of a misconception about what exactly mariculture is. A lot of people think of mariculture as fish farming, in other words maybe taking a male and female and producing the eggs and then raising the larvae and the young. And so therefore, a process that's completely outside of the wild. Completely able to take pressure off wild stocks, wild populations.

1:06:31 CJ: And that's not how it really happens.

1:06:32 YV: Well not with groupers, certainly a large proportion of the groupers that you see which people consider to be cultured actually are animals that have been taken from the wild as a very small submarket size, a whole range, juveniles, yes¿

1:06:50 coughing

1:06:54 YV: They've been taken from the wild, as juveniles, then they're put in floating net cages or concrete pens, and then they're grown out again using this feed, this wild fish feed, so¿

1:07:04 CJ: And what's the problem with taking juveniles? Just make that step for me.

1:07:07 YV: Well, if you take juveniles, then¿

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