Fishermen Go Digital To Catch ‘Bubuk’

MIRI: Social media applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook are being used by fishermen here to catch shrimps (bubuk) which is now in season.

They use the Apps to locate and send pictures of schools of shrimps to fellow fishermen.

According to a fisherman from Kampung Pulau Melayu, Daud Lamat, when one of them spotted a school of shrimp, he would WhatsApp the location to other fishermen in the village, and together they would go to the spot to catch the shrimps.

WhatsApp and Facebook play important role for the fishing community here. The most common spots are along Lutong-Kuala Baram or Miri-Bakam, Daud said when met yesterday.

He added that through sharing of information on the locations of the ‘bubuk’, other fishermen would immediately join in the catch.

Daud added he had also taken photographs of a school of shrimp and shared it with his friends.

He even said that fishermen from as far as Kampung Bakam or Kampung Muhibbah in Kuala Baram who were at sea would immediately come over to join in the fishing frenzy.

The more the merrier. This way, we can catch as much shrimps as possible with our ‘pakak’ (net) for sale on the market.

Another fisherman, Herman Hamdan said WhatsApp was not only good for catching ‘bubuk’ but it could pinpoint the exact location.

He said most fishermen, if not all, were equipped with smartphones when they went out to sea.

They communicate with each other with WhatsApp, Wechat, Tweeter and others.

Many longboats with ‘pakak’ are now seen in waters off Kuala Baram-Miri water harvesting the ‘bubuk’ to earn extra income.

Meanwhile, Daud said schools of shrimps were seen entering the mouth of Miri River yesterday morning, prompting fishermen from Kampung Piasau Utara, Pulau Melayu and Pujut to take to the sea in drove.

If the weather remains hot and dry, the bubuk season can last up to a month but if its rains continuously, the shrimps may move further out to the sea.

Makers of ‘belacan’ (shrimp paste) are buying as much bubuk as possible to ensure they have ample stock for their ready customers from other divisions, Brunei, Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia.

A kilogramme of belacan can fetch between RM35 and RM50.

Miri Belacan is one of the famous local home-made products and craved by people from all over the state.

Source: Sarawak Government