Boat storage facility at East Coast Park has the freshest fish you will find in Singapore
The fishermen there sell their catch right off the boat.
In a highly urbanised society such as Singapore, fishing is seen as more of a hobby or leisure activity.
Yet, there are still people who do it for a living.
In a video put up on August 14, The Straits Times featured what they called “the last community of fishermen at Singapore’s East Coast”, as part of their “Living City” video series.
Some of the fishermen featured were shown to be selling their catch right off their boat.
Which makes the last boat storage facility at East Coast, near carpark B1, a fish market with potentially the freshest fish you can find.
Turning their boat into a fish stall
According to two of the fishermen featured — Lim Ah Ping, 65 and Kee Seck Heng, 56 — they start selling their fish as soon as they return from fishing in the early hours of the morning.
Customers come to the storage facility to collect their orders or receive a phone call from the fishermen that they have returned with fresh fish.
This suggests an informal arrangement of sorts between the fishermen and their customers, and could be due to the serendipitous manner in which this fish market sprang up.
As Kee states, it all started with his customers “[chancing] upon this place when they came to East Coast park to exercise.”
Customers are regulars
Kee adds that his customers are have been buying from him for seven to eight years, with some even buying from him for over the past decade.
For Kee, it is the straight-from-the-sea freshness which gives them an edge over the fish stalls at the wet market.
He adds that, “Once you’ve tasted fish from here, the fish you get from the market would taste different to you.”
Market might not last
There is a sense among the fishermen however, that this way of living might not last.
The many land reclamation works and heavy tanker traffic has greatly affected the space for fishing.
As Lim states, “[now] we are left with only the sea off East Coast Park to fish.”
Lim further adds that climate change is also making its presence felt — the warmer waters has resulted in the disappearance of a lot of marine life.
He is also unsure if the boat storage facility will continue to remain. Considering that it’s the last boat storage facility along East Coast, he hopes that “[should] the time during come to vacate, the Government will still provide a space for us fishermen”.
How to get there
In case you are wondering where is the exact location of the boat storage facility so that you can check it out, here it is as “Boat parking” on Google Maps: