Four seas bathe the coast of China. Their leaving resources are abundant and many of them are economically important for the fishing industry, but at the same time China is the only country whose products of aquaculture, representing a big percentage of the world, surpass the natural fishing.
We made a visit to the sea market in Shenzhen and we discovered that there is nothing that lives in the seas around the world that can’t be found here – all sort of imported crabs, lobsters, razor clams, salmon, abalone, shrimp, as well as plenty of local seafood. There are sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sea snakes, oysters, clams, cockles, periwinkles, tiger prawns, pipi prawns, hairy crabs, white crabs, mud crabs, turtles, jellyfish, shark fins and octopus, at prices that are considerably cheaper than you’ll pay elsewhere in the world.
The floor of the market was covered in water and at some places of fish blood. I was upset for wearing flip-flops instead of shoes I had this feeling of sadness for being there and see all those creatures moving in their pools: some of them in agony. I took a deep breath and dived in, being anxious to discover what they had to sell and imagining whether the animal came from far away or was just raised in a local pool. How would you feel about choosing your dinner while it’s still alive? …
In this market as in many others in China this all is part of the experience and its better not to go there if you are an environmentalist. The market is primarily a wholesale fish and seafood market for restaurants and hotels, but they run an efficient sideline in personal shopping too – walk the stalls, choose some seafood, then take it home and cook it the way you like.
I guess part of the experience is wandering the stalls, browsing the still alive offerings, dodging fish entrails and bargaining hard because it is possible to find many of the stalls carrying similar selections so the buyer should keep scouring if a seller doesn’t meet the desired price.
As foreigners we could expect higher prices but we were accompanied with our dear Chinese friend Tina and her Japanese husband Taro, and because of their presence we got a good deal buying a fish for our dinner.
Check out the video and Gut it out!