Friday, November 11, 2011

Video - Catching Atulai (Mackeral) Guam Style

There has been an abundance of Atulai (Mackeral, Big Eye Scad) coming close to Guam's shores this year and they haven't stop coming.

On Guam, one of the most popular ways, and a traditional way at that, is to surround the schools when they come close to shore and in shallow water with a type of purse seine net, but a whole lot smaller in scale. The nets are regulated to be not longer that 600 feet and no more than 60 feet in depth.

And how they are caught is after the school is spotted in the shallow waters, less than 60 feet, small boats are used to transport the nets and surround the school. This traps the fish. Then the net is pulled into a smaller "circle" until the school is within scooping distance. But we can talk about it all day. Let's watch some videos of this process....

Surrounding the school with the net...

Swimming inside the net to check out the fish...

Closing up the net in order to harvest the fish...

Tightening up the net even closer now...Let's harvest some fish!!!!

Havesting the atulai (mackeral)...

The atulai are being off-loaded from the boats into coolers...

Though there are many more aspects of this time-honored practice, (in the old days, canoes were used and nets were made out of plant fibers) these are the main sequences of the events. 

This harvesting can go on for days as the school of atulai are kept in the main section of the net and only so many boat loads are harvested each day. It all depends on the market.

This special method for catching atulai is a spectacle to watch if you have never seen the harvesting of large schools of fish.

This is the island way of life for some..

Hope you enjoyed this part of the Chamorro custom.

Until next time....Fish On!!!!

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