By Dong Na
"Here comes the first haul of crabs!" Around 7 PM on August 1, with a shout from a fisherman, a crowd immediately formed at the dock. Everyone was eager to buy the first crabs of the season.
The fisherman Wang Mingming was too busy dealing with customers to tie the crabs' claws. He plucked the crabs one by one from the net and threw them into a bucket, to be weighed and sold by his wife. "More than a hundred swimming crabs came up in one haul. The fishing net was full to bursting. What a great harvest to start off the new fishing season," he said happily. "Thanks to the summer fishing ban, there seems to be more crabs this autumn than in previous years. I am overjoyed!"
With an area of 20 km^2, Ninghai Bay is not large. It only takes half a day for a ship to make one fishing trip. On the first day of the new season, the fishermen prepared their nets and gear early, setting off from the piers at 12 noon sharp. As the tide did not recede until late in the day, it was already dark when they returned to shore.
"Newly-caught crabs taste particularly fresh." According to local old fishermen, August is the time when swimming crabs and green crabs are at their fattest in Ninghai Bay. Since Ninghai Bay is an estuary where salty and fresh water meet, the seafood here is highly nutritious and well-loved by coastal residents.
Local fishermen focus on catching swimming crabs at the start of the fishing season. This year, Ninghai Bay's first haul is especially good, containing high-quality crabs and yellowtail fish. On the first day of the season, swimming crabs were priced at ?100-120/kg and green crabs at ?260-300/kg. Prices are expected to come down as more seafood comes ashore.
Chief Adviser: Zhao Qingchuan
Proofreader: Xu Zhuowei