Photo credit: Gove Hambidge, 1955. The story of FAO.
Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)
The inserted picture which was published in 1955 shows a group of Thai women (and boys) while using the plunge baskets in capturing fish. Traditionally, plunge baskets are mainly a subsistence gear attracting the poorest of households which are commonly used by women when water level is minimal.
This simple fishing gear is a conical trap open at both ends. Common size of plunge basket varies from 50-70 cm height, 40-50 cm width at the lower end and about 15 cm at the top. It is constructed with closely set ribs made of sticks or bamboo splinters of about l0 mm width. To keep the ribs in position the trap is hooped at 3-4 places with split cane or other similar materials. The free ends of the splinters at the wide mouth are usually sharpened, so that the device could be pushed down to fix the projecting ribs into the bottom and capture the fish. Then the gear operator can search inside the basket for any fish captured which is removed by hand.
The plunge baskets are more efficient when catching fish from knee-deep waters like inundated paddy fields, and other small water bodies especially where the bottom is soft.
Plunge baskets are very useful in weed infested waters where the operation of other gears is almost impossible.