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Jimbaran fish market

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Jimbaran’s energetic (and smelly) fish market is assuredly a confronting assault on the senses as you squeeze though the throngs of venders and their staggering array of squid, crabs, lobsters, clams and a near endless variety of fish.

The covered market faces the beach at Kedonganan at the northern end of Jimbaran—in fact locals refer to it as Pasar Ikan Kedonganan rather than Jimbaran fish market. Along the shore, colourful traditional boats are pulled up along the sand, and if you visit early in the day, it’s a sight to behold as they haul their catches to shore in the lemon-yellow morning light.

Plenty of brightly-coloured fishing boats on hand. Photo taken in or around Jimbaran fish market, Jimbaran, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Plenty of brightly-coloured fishing boats on hand. Photo: Sally Arnold

There is however, more than meets the eye to consider when you go for a stroll through the narrow passages, and just seeing the sheer volume on offer on a regular day, it is hard not to wonder about the sustainability of the fishing practices. We visited with chef Heinz von Holzen, who runs Bumbu Bali restaurants and cooking school in Tanjung Benoa and he not only confirmed our suspicions, but also stripped away any romantic illusions from travellers’ eyes. He has been taking punters to the market since 1997 and is fearful of the impact he’s already seen to date of regional overfishing and pollution on the size and quality of the catch—and remember unless Bali restaurants are using imported fish, this market is where most source their seafood.

Seeing marlin weighing in at greater than half a tonne hauled ashore used to be the norm at Kedonganan, along with treasure sharks by the thousands, but these days the hauls have fallen dramatically. Bali’s seas have been overfished leaving all but a few varieties such as sardines, mackerel and bonito in the waters and much of the fish you see at the market is actually brought in from Java—often stored in water of questionable quality—sometimes with formaldehyde added—and ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Jimbaran fish market
Northern end of Jimbaran Beach
Admission: Free

Location map for Jimbaran fish market

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