Fisher nets in 1.5 tonnes of shrimp

National 1 minute, 50 seconds

BELAIT

THE long weekend proved to be a fortuitous one for a local Muara fisherman and his crew when they netted a bumper catch of bubuk (a shrimplike crustacean), making the National Day celebrations all the more memorable for them.

Hj Zaidon Hj Musli, speaking on telephone to The Brunei Times, said that his Saturday haul was one of the largest he'd ever experienced in all his years of fishing for bubuk.

"I've been fishing for decades, even before I was married… All in all, we took in about 150 drums of bubuk, that's roughly more than 1.5 tonnes. We filled our boats to their maximum load," said Hj Zaidon, who makes his trips with his family and close relatives.

All the more special about this particular find only one mile off the Muara coast was its sheer abundance, which the 54-year old man from Kg Serdang says is very rare in recent years.

"Normally, for a catch of this size, you would need to make two to three trips. This particular time, we were very lucky to have chanced upon so much bubuk that we filled all three of our boats in one anchoring," he said.

The going rate for bubuk in a wet market averages $2 per kilogramme but within hours of posting their haul on a Facebook group for fishermen, Hj Zaidon sold everything off for a tidy sum.

"Normally, we sell one tin or bucket for $20 but with the amount we had, we sold it in bulk. We had offers to take everything off us from local people wanting to make belacan (shrimp paste) so we made about $3,200."

According to Hj Zaidon, the bubuk season normally starts from January and can stretch up to March, just as it did last year. He doesn't expect to be so fortunate so soon, and even a planned return to the spot on Monday didn't materialise due to engine trouble.

Bubuk is also typically caught along the Northwestern Borneo coast in Limbang and Bintulu (in Sarawak), which is turned into belacan or shrimp paste that has become one of Bintulu's signature exports. It can also be fried fresh as a savoury accompaniment popular on Brunei dinner tables.

The Brunei Times