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Interview 2:48 - 16:19 Play 2:48 - More
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Yvonne Sadovy, Linda Delacruz  







Hong Kong fish market discussion with Christopher Joyce.  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
18 Feb 2004

  • Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
  • Lei Yue Mun Fish Market
  • 22.27535   114.18668
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Equipment Note
  • 2-channel mono; DPA4060 omni mic used.

Show: Hong Kong
Log of DAT #3
Engineer: Marty Kurcias
Date: February 2004

0:04 YV: ¿overly priced. I mean to pick it up in central, I thought that the sandwich has two parts to it, it had one part to it. 280, but they only charged you twice didn't they?

0:12 CJ: Yeah, but¿

0:13 YV: Yeah, it's outrageous, that's why I didn't want them, I wanted to make sure that they didn't charge for mine as well because it's outrageous, yeah. It's outrageous how expensive that can be¿you want me to keep going, okay, um, so what you want to do? I don't know, I don't remember. What do you plan to do, or what are you doing after the Layumun?

0:37 silence

0:39 MK: Okay this is Yvonne's mike on her NPR baseball cap

0:49 YV: My great cap

0:50 MK: At, uh, what is the name of this fish market?

0:51 YV: This is Layumun fish market.

0:53 MK: Layumun fish market in Hong Kong. And it is a DPA 40/60 omni mike, uh, going into a D7 with a little bit of roll of at about 60 hertz on a wireless. Electrosonic wireless.

1:09 CJ: We need to know all of that?

1:10 MK: Yeah, um, I'm gonna start rolling.

1:13 moving around

1:21 CJ: So if we interview, if we talk to anybody else we'll just do this. Well actually if Yvonne stands close enough to them we can get them that way too.

1:34 YV: Yes, point me in the right direction. So it's actually on all the time now, I'll watch what I say laughing

1:39 CJ: No, it's quite alright, when we do this in the field with people, especially in a biology group, or with field biologists, we get hours of people urinating in the bushes, men, men.

1:50 YV: Oh, men, well

1:53 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¿

2:09 YV: Layu, Layumun

2:12 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¿

2:26 YV: Watch your backs

2:28 CJ: Watch out behind you

2:31 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

2:37 CJ claps

2:40 MK: Great

2:42 CJ: Never done that before, ah, you've always got something new. It's pretty quiet here.

2:48 YV: It is, it's early yet, 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.

3:04 MK: You're hearing her okay on that?

3:05 CJ: Yes, fine.

3:06 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.

3:23 CJ: How many shops here?

3:25 YV: I have no idea, I guess around fifty

3:28 loud sawing sound

3:36 YV: I would guess around fifty in total and you'll see too it's a little bit of a (?) inside. Lots and lots of very small ones.

3:49 MK: Lots of dogs.

3:50 YV: Yeah, maybe, quite a few around everywhere particularly around the villages you see. Not so much in toLD obviously.

3:56 CJ: And this is a place not just for, where fish are being sold but also restaurants.

4:00 YV: Yes, it's, and this, you know a lot of these places um, the, it's a lot of tourists come here. So people visiting from the mainland. This is quite a famous market for buying live fish. So tourists will come here, people come here for special occasions. Yeah, it's one of the main ones in Hong Kong for a big collection of seafood restaurants and retail shops. This is sort of the beginning of it.

4:28 CJ: So when fish are delivered, live fish are delivered off the big ships into Hong Kong harbor, they're picked up in trucks and they're brought here?

4:38 YV: A number of things happen, um, the ships come into various landing points and one of them is actually quite close to here, a place called Quintong, which we'll try and go over there a little bit later. And they'll be off-loaded; usually they will then go to a wholesale facility, which is also quite close. And then from that wholesale market or from other wholesale markets they be sold off to the retail sector. It's very complicated because some of these businesses may have direct links to the wholesalers and some will go through, Hi¿so this is the beginning.

5:13 This is pretty much the first of the shops, and you'll see we'll go around a number of passages that have these individual shops and the shops are linked with restaurants. In this case I mean it's pretty clear that this would be the restaurant it's linked with.

5:27 CJ: The Honki restaurant.

5:28 YV: Yes, Honki Restaurant, other times it's not so clear. You've got a shop here and I wouldn't know whether that shop is linked with that restaurant or another restaurant. And so you have a choice. As a customer you come along and you can choose the crabs or the clams, manta shrimp, abilone (?), lobster, all kinds of, a whole wide range of fish, shrimp, all of them alive, and then you select, I want this, I want that. They'll be weighed, and then taken straight to be cooked. So you would eat pretty much straight away.

6:01 CJ: The fish in that tank there, that's a tank of about four and half five feet long and probably a fifty gallon tank I suppose. What sort of fish do you see in there?

6:12 YV: There's a real range. It would be great for teaching a fish biology class actually. There's a range of colors because color, color is important for people choosing some of these fish. But mainly, let's have a look, mainly, mainly, there are several species of grouper. There're a couple of species of Wrasse, there's a little Humphead Wrasse. Um, maybe could go upper left there, a small one that's about this size.

6:39 CJ: What size is that? Plate size.

6:40 YV: That would be, yes, that would be about plate size. Um, the, there's a, sort of for practical reasons, there are preferred sizes within the industry and that is either a fish for two or three people. So that would fit a biggish plate that would go into the center of the table. Or a much larger fish that would maybe serve a banquet. Often wedding banquets actually would be a place where larger fish might be sold whole. So, yes, that would be a plate size fish. We're talking about 500 grams, something like that, 5, 600 grams would be the size. And then I can see some snappers in there, I can see some parrot fish as well. So there's quite a cross section of the different types of fish you would see on a coral reef. They're, all of them that I can see are coral reef fish.

7:28 CJ: Okay

7:30 talking, moving around, water

7:40 YV: Now these guys are pretty spectacular. You've heard of the giant grouper?

7:46 CJ: Yes I have, that is giant, how big a fish is that?

7:47 YV: Yes, well that's a small giant. That's a baby giant. Uh, this, this, I've stopped here because they always seem to have quite a lot of giant grouper, and¿so this, you know, you'd think this would be quite a big fish. I don't know, you'd say that was a foot and a half.

8:07 CJ: It's as long as your arm.

8:08 YV: Yeah, and so big and round, and he's really a plump fish. Quite beautiful with the yellow on the ends of the fins. But this is quite a young animal, well a relatively young and small animal for the species. At the bottom here, you can see...

8:23 CJ: Oh my goodness

8:24 YV: They reach two meters.

8:26 CJ: Well that's the size of a seal.

8:27 YV: Massive. They're very big animals. This is the biggest of all the reef fish. About, two, just over two meters long. Uh, and they lose that rather attractive yellowing color on the fins. They get a lot darker when they're bigger. Now some of these giant grouper probably come form aquaculture or mariculture facilities in Taiwan. And I believe there's one particular business who's really perfected, who's really perfected the um, raising, hatchery based rearing of giant grouper. So the very large ones which may be several tens of years old, they probably come from the wild. These smaller ones are very likely to come from culture. Just given when mariculture developed and how old they are, different sizes. Just¿

9:16 CJ: Let's just stand here for a second without talking.

9:17 talking, water

9:54 CJ: This is really fabulous. It's quite amazing.

9:55 YV: It is amazing. It is quite remarkable. You can also see they have coddle fish for sale.

10:00 CJ: I wondered what those were.

10:01 YV: Yeah, that's becoming increasingly common.

10:04 CJ: Coddle fish being basically octopus or squid.

10:06 YV: Related to, you know the coddle bone? That people who keep birds? They'll have a coddle bones that they hang up for the birds to peck at. That's, that's where that comes from. So there are large lobsters. Razor clam, abalone again, all kinds, do you want to go in? Can we go in? Yeah, thanks very much. Um, a whole wide range of animals and these animals come from all over the region. You know, I know that some of the lobsters for example come from Australia. And New Zealand.

10:44 CJ: Now are these reef fish?

10:45 YV: These are, these are, these are pretty much except for the flat fish there, these are all reef fish, and this one is a very popular, this is called the coral trout or coral grouper.

10:56 CJ: Because it's reddish or pink?

10:57 YV: It's popular because it's reddish, yes.

11:00 CJ: What's the significance of that?

11:01 YV: It's believed um in Chinese culture¿this is grouper?

11:06 Woman (LD): Yeah, red grouper, all this one it came from the Philippines except this one, the flounder, because the flounder came from France (?).

11:14 YV: Yes, yeah that's a cold water species. This, do people like the red color?

11:16 LD: Yeah.

11:17 YV: Why?

11:18 LD: Because uh, very soft like, but if it is steamed the very soft like cotton. Like cotton, yeah. But this one, this and the tiger grouper, it's just the same but the difference is this one is a little bit harder.

11:39 YV: So people pay more money for the red one?

11:41 LD: Yeah.

11:42 YV: How much is the red one?

11:43 LD: The red one it depends because sometimes we buy a little bit cheaper sometimes expensive. But most probably we say this one is two hundred forty per keddy.

11:57 YV: That's 240 Hong Kong dollars.

11:58 LD: Yeah, fifteen dollars per gram. Like that.

12:00 CJ: Per pound.

12:01 YV: Fifteen dollars¿

12:02 LD: No, because uh 260, 240, per keddy but the keddy is equivalent to 16, 16 grams.

12:13 CJ: Ounces, 16 ounces, well so how much would it cost just for that whole fish?

12:19 YV: This one here.

12:20 LD: This one is approximately about, this one is 700 already, 7, 800 dollars already.

12:25 YV: So it's about 14 inches long. 700 dollars. So it's a little under a 100 US dollars for the red¿

12:30 CJ: Just for that one single fish.

12:21 LD: Yeah, one, one

12:33 YV: Just to give you an idea, this is, this is one of the more valuable species.

12:28 CJ: And what is it again? A grouper?

12:37 LD: This is expensive one.

12:41 YV: This is an expensive one, yes. This one, it's a grouper and it's a coral trout or coral grouper. This is cheaper, right, this is not so expensive?

12:49 LD: Not so, this one is approximately about 192 you can take for 130 or just 1 (?)

13:00 CJ: And with the red one is it the color or the texture of that fish that makes it better?

13:04 LD: It's the color, it's the color.

13:05 CJ: What is so important about the color, the pink and the red color?

13:08 LD: So that you can recognize what is the real grouper because sometimes there are some that say this is the grouper, but actually it's not the real grouper. Like you can distinguish by color.

13:24 CJ: I thought that it was because red was good luck.

13:24 LD: No laughing

13:27 CJ: What's your name?

13:38 LD: Linda Delacruz

13:39 CJ: Are you from the Philippines?

13:38 LD: From Philippines, yes.

13:40 CJ: What part?

13:42 LD: Like this one, this one is lobster from the Philippines and the one is Australia. If you want sashimi you take the small. But if you want Chinese style¿you take this one.

13:57 YV: Can I ask you about this fish?...sorry, this one?

14:04 LD: That is the slapper (?) fish.

14:05 YV: The which one?

14:06 LD: Slapper fish, this one, this¿

14:11 YV: This one is the expensive one though, right?

14:12 LD: Yeah, this one is approximately about, this one is 1,500 Hong Kong dollars.

14:18YV: So that's almost¿200 US dollars.

14:23 CJ: 150 dollars

14:24 YV: 150, okay

14:26 CJ: For one fish

14:27 YV: And this one is the Humphead Wrasse? Or Mowry Wrasse, or Napoleon Wrasse, Mamang, right?

14:31 LD: Yeah, but this one is easy to die, compared to the other fish.

14:37 YV: Oh, I see, so that's, so you keep them separately for that reason.

14:41 LD: Temperature above 25, 25

14:44 YV: Oh, you keep it warmer. This one is a, this one's a little juvenile, a baby, about this size, and the¿

14:47 CJ: That's about a foot long.

14:51 YV: Yes

14:55 LD: As big as around 30 keddy (?) like that, this one will become big

14:58 YV: They get to almost two meters in length, the very biggest one. So this one is very small compared to¿but this one is a popular size for selling?

15:06 CJ: Move a little closer to her

15:07 YV: This one is a popular size for selling?

15:09 LD: Yeah, for selling, this one and then there is the smaller one of this one but for two or three people but this one is approximately around five to six people this one.

15:20 CJ: Can you tell me, are there special occasions when people buy these for, for¿

15:23 LD: Uh, example they have Valentine's Day, Christmas, and their Chinese New Year, like that, yeah.

15:31 CJ: Okay, we're with a um, radio station in the United States.

15:36 LD: Really? Oh I see.

15:39 YV: So we're just¿

15:40 CJ: We're doing a story, radio stories on fish

15:45 YV: So, this shop, is this linked with a particular restaurant?

15:52 LD: No, in every restaurant some they have their own shops but this shop is just separated from the other restaurant, not connected from the other restaurant.

16:04 YV: Okay.

16:06 LD: It's independent, independent shop. The owner, my boss.

16:11 YV: Oh, that's the owner, high boss, high boss laughing

16:15 CJ: Okay, thank you

16:17 YV: Okay thanks very much

16:18 LD: Okay, okay

16:20 water, talking in background

16:29 CJ: He's gonna get some ambience now, without us

16:31 water, talking in background

17:08 YV laughing

17:10 water, talking in background

17:32 YV: Would you mind to send me one later, please? I meant to bring my camera along and I forgot, thank you.

17:36 water, talking in background

17:49 silence

20:46 YV: Oh yeah, prawn shrimp

20:56 (Woman WN) ¿But the real name is Squilla

20:57 YV: Sqiulla, squilla, that's actually comes from the latin name, yeah.

21:03 WN: Yeah, a lot of names¿cant understand

21:11 YV: So you speak Cantonese?

21:12 WN: Little bit

21:13 YV: A little bit

21:14 WN: How about you?

21:15 YV: Even less, sorry, okay.

20:19 MK: Okay this is sync number two, clap

21:24 clap

21:25 MK: Okay

21:26 CJ: Okay

21:25 YV: Am I working?

21:27 CJ: Yes, you're working again, you weren't, the batteries died, so

21:31 YV: Oh, okay

21:34 water

21:38 YV: Sorry

21:39 water, talking in background

21:49 YV: So all of these are separate little shops.

21:53 water, talking in background

22:02 YV: Okay, that would be great, I'll show my husband when I get up to¿

22:05 water, talking in background

22:26 YV: Can you get a picture of me with, the sound man please, I mean sometime, with Marty. There's another humphead wrasse here, and some giant groupers. There's a larger one, and you see the color is much bluer, greener. They're quite spectacular animals.

22:46 CJ: They are, they seem¿sort of peaceful, I suppose.

22:50 YV: Well

22:52 bell

22:53 YV: Okay, we'll go, let's go strait to this, Ken, and then um, at least we can free him up.

23:02 water, talking in background

23:20 YV: Some of these giant groupers would not be for sale, they would be kept for good luck. The giant grouper is considered to be you know quite a good luck species.

23:30 CJ: In a home aquarium? Someplace like that?

23:32 YV: Uh, well no, in a place like this. So this is the shop, let's see if Ken is here.

23:39 water, talking in background

23:55 YV: Hi, un Kenny? Kenny? Speaking in Chinese Mindy? Kenny?

24:05 water, talking in background

24:17 YV: This is their shop so they should be somewhere around. I'd better call and see, I've got his mobile. Oh there he is. Hi Kenny, I'm sorry with the time, yeah¿


1:07:06 TAPE ENDS

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