KUALA TERENGGANU – Each time the monsoon season is here, residents in Terengganu will usually look forward to the sudden surge of thousands of cockles on the beach and this time around the much-awaited phenomena has attracted a crowd at Pantai Pandak near Chendering.
A check by Bernama at the beach saw visitors digging with gusto to harvest the marine bivalve mollusc, using various kitchen tools such as containers, strainers and fan covers.
A security guard, Mohd Rahman Mat Shafee, 35, said he managed to gather as much as 50 kilogrammes (kg) of cockles after four hours of digging and the amount is the biggest catch he ever had so far.
“I will usually I give them to my family members and neighbours to cook. I just do this for fun, but if people come by here to buy them I will sell them at RM10 per kg.
“This surge of cockles phenomena is now common in Terengganu but where it will occur is uncertain…previously the attraction was at Pantai Rusila, Marang and Pantai Seberang Takir. If there is going to be a big harvest, I would go there. The tiny piece of meat is so delicious as they are fresh, unlike those sold at the market,” he said when met by Bernama here.
It is learned that bulks of cockles began to appear at Pantai Pandak in the past three days and visitors had been coming as early as 8 am to collect the shellfish, staying on till late evening depending on the weather.
For retiree, Alias Aki, 65, this is his first time out at the beach during the monsoon to dig for cockles.
“I have heard so much fuss over this and read about the joy others had seeing the great abundance on social media, so I thought why not join them this time,” said Alias who came with his wife Asmida Abdullah, 38 and daughter Aleesya Adriana, 11.
“This is amazing. Each time I dip this fan cover into the sand there will be some cockles scooped out, “ he said while distancing away from the crowd to comply with the on-going Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) standard operating procedures (SOP).
Meanwhile, Terengganu police chief, Datuk Roslee Chik when contacted said, the cockle gathering activity is allowed but the public must adhere to the SOPs set.
“The police and other agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department and RELA will continue to monitor the situation,” he said adding that safety must be given priority while out on the beach to prevent any untoward incident.