Pamumukut is the local term for baby purse-seining, where a purse-like net called “pukut” is layed out offshore and pulled on both ends like a drawstring from the shore by persons called “mamumukot“. Pulling the net is a choreographed movement, similar to doing the cha-cha. Back in the days, anyone who wanted to get free fish can help in pulling the “pukut” and he will be given a share of the catch. However, this type of fishing was outlawed years ago because of its negative effects on fish stocks. In Baler, there are months when it’s allowed in certain areas and this month, September, is pukut season.
It’s been years since I last saw a live pukut event. Luckily I managed to witness one on Labasin Beach last Sunday, September 14. Check out the pictures:
After about two hours of pulling the net, the day’s catch is about five kilos of small fishes and another five kilos of trash. That’s how it goes, says one of the mamumukot, sometimes you catch many fishes, sometimes you catch nothing.