Andaman fishermen net seasonal jellyfish for Bt10,000 bonus daily income

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PHANGNGA, July 22 – Several months every year local fishermen in this southern Thai Andaman Sea province shift their attention to catching a seasonal seafood speciality — jellyfish — for supplementary income of as much as Bt10,000 per day.

The catch takes place annually April through August in Takua Thung district, where local fishermen spend their mornings finding jellyfish drifting with the sea currents and catch them to sell at Bt8 each to buyers.

To earn Bt10,000 (about US$335) a fisherman must catch some 1,300 jellyfish daily. The daily catch usually peaks when the annual monsoon hits the coast, carrying large numbers of the creature to the coast.

Some of the sea animals are sent for processing and packaged in boxes or containers as dried jellyfish for export.

Jellyfish are eaten a lot in China, Japan, and South Korea due to their high protein content and low calorie level. According to a study, not only does the use of jellyfish collagen moisturise the skin, but it also helps cure rheumatoid arthritis and bronchitis.

Japan is currently the leading food processor and exporter of several varieties of jellyfish, but the sea creature has been consumed for over a thousand years in China.