Bubuk season brings extra income for many

Buntal’s family member selling bubuk at a temporary roadside stall.

MIRI: Full and part-time fishermen here are happy with the return of the bubuk season that brings them extra income once a year.

‘Bubuk’ are tiny shrimps while ‘samuan’ are larger shrimps bought by locals to make ‘belacan’ (a shrimp paste) and ‘cencaluk’ (tiny fermented shrimps) which could be sold at RM35 to RM50 per kilo.

Buntal Jaluddin from Kampung Batu Satu, Lutong said the shrimp season normally occurs in February or March, lasting from three weeks to a month.

The last one week saw many fishermen from Kampung Batu Satu, Lutong catch bubuk in bulk from seven to 11 trays.

“Bubuk caught by fishermen can reach 11 trays, meaning extra income for fishermen and their family members,” Buntal said at Batu Satu Lutong beach yesterday.

Every morning, residents from as far as Miri and its outskirts including visitors from Brunei check out fish stalls – temporary structures erected at the roadside, and permanent structures erected by the government – to buy fresh fish and shrimps.

He said today he is focusing on catching bubuk which his customers are waiting for at his stall managed by his wife and family members

Presently one kilo of bubuk cost RM8 but can drop to RM3 per kilo if catches are bountiful.

A check by thesundaypost reporter at the stall along Lutong-Kuala Baram road showed bubuk sold at RM8 per kilo. Sellers are also displaying for sale prawns and fresh fish caught by fishermen.

“This is the time for fishermen to catch as many trays of bubuk as possible to be sold to local residents to turn into belacan and cencaluk,” he said.

Part-time fisherman Herman Hamdan said not many ‘pakak’ (scoop nets) are being used to catch bubuk due to the weather.

Most fishermen use the ‘sobor’ (scoop net placed in front of the fishing boat) to catch floating shrimps.

He said belacan lovers here are thrilled as the bubuk season is short and fishermen compete among themselves for good catches daily.

“This week is only the early stage of the bubuk season as the colour is still not red. It will turn red when they mature and are in demand by the belacan makers,” he disclosed.

Fishmonger Latipah Drahman said her family members took the opportunity to catch bubuk as a bonus for the family.

Fishermen can earn up to a few hundred ringgit on a good day, and even a few thousand ringgit per week.

She said here in Lutong, not only Malay fishermen but Iban, Chinese and other races join in to catch bubuk under the hot sun as there’s money to be earned.

Source: The Borneo Post

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