Two villagers from Kampung Batu Satu Lutong and a customer (left) show the shrimps for sale.
MIRI: The shrimp season dubbed ‘musim bubuk’ is back, with fishermen – full or part-time – bringing ashore these crustaceans in bulk once a year as a source of extra income.
A fisherman from Kampung Batu Satu Lutong, Zaid Yunos, was happy that he could catch a lot of the shrimp in waters around Lutong, here yesterday.
“I am happy with my catch today (yesterday). My focus is on catching ‘bubuk’ this week for additional income,” he told The Borneo Post at the Kampung Batu Satu Lutong wet market when met yesterday morning.
Many residents from around Lutong, Tudan and Pujut were seen taking the opportunity to catch the red shrimps, which can be processed into ‘belacan’ (shrimp paste) or ‘cencaluk’ (fermented small shrimps or krill).
According to Zaid, his catch yesterday came to nearly 2,000 kilogrammes – a bountiful catch that would give extra income for his family.
He said ‘bubuk’ is now in high demand from locals and even from outside Miri as it is clean and almost free of contamination caused by sea debris.
Buntal Jaluddin, another fisherman from the same village, said ‘musim bubuk’ normally occurs in March, lasting from three weeks to a month.
A fishing boat with a ‘pakak’ scoop net fixed to its bow to catch the ‘bubuk’.
He said if the catch is good, a fisherman could catch seven to ten trays of shrimp during each outing.
“Presently, ‘bubuk’ can fetch a price of RM8 per kg, but the price could drop to RM3 during peak season,” he said.
Though he only focuses on catching ‘bubuk’ now, prized fish are also currently available as they are seen coming nearer to shore to eat the shrimp, he added.
He also said the demand for ‘bubuk’ was so high that customers were already waiting for the shrimps to arrive at his stall which is managed by his wife and mother.
Another villager, meanwhile, was seen frying ‘cucur bubuk’ for sale at one of the stalls, something which has become popular as the shrimps are brought in fresh from the sea.
Meanwhile, a check by The Borneo Post on the stalls at the wet market found that apart from ‘bubuk’, a variety of fresh fish were also sold there.
Fishing boats with ‘pakak’ scoop nets fixed at their bow for catching the floating ‘bubuk’ could be seen moored nearby.
This week is only the early stage of the bubuk season, and the catch by fishermen is expected to grow if the hot weather persists.