Sando fish vendors hoping for better Easter sales

Fish ven­dors are pray­ing that sales im­prove as East­er draws clos­er be­cause they have ex­pe­ri­enced a dras­tic drop in sales.

Fish ven­dors at the San Fer­nan­do and Ota­heite Bay Fish­ing De­pots be­lieve con­sumers are not buy­ing, main­ly be­cause they have no mon­ey.

Dif­fer­ent types and sizes of fish and shrimp were on dis­play on the stalls, but there were just a hand­ful of cus­tomers, each look­ing for the most rea­son­able price.

Ram­cha­ran “Bil­ly” Par­tap, who sells fish and shrimp at the Ota­heite Bay, said sales were slow­er than last year. “Fish sell­ing re­al slow. I say from last year to now maybe about a 50 per cent drop in sales. It re­al slow.”

He be­lieves the ma­jor­i­ty of cus­tomers can­not af­ford to buy be­cause they have no mon­ey. “I say plen­ty peo­ple get lay off from their work so they don’t have mon­ey to spend. So that is what caus­ing that.”

He said they can­not af­ford to drop the fish price be­cause fish is scarce and fish­er­men now have to spend a lot of mon­ey in fu­el. “The fish price not re­al­ly drop­ping. Right now the fish hard­ly hold­ing. The gas price gone up so if it use to cost fish­er­men $250 in gas to go in the sea now you have to buy $1,000 in gas.

If the sale not there and the fish hold­ing the price will drop, but once the fish not hold­ing the price will be up.”

He said Salmon sell­ing for $20 to $25 a pound, Carite and King fish are go­ing at $30 and $35 per pound while cav­al­li is sold at $15 a pound. “We might a get ah lil sale for the East­er well, that will be it,” he said.

Dhan­raj “Bha­gi” Ramkissoon said peo­ple were hard­ly buy­ing fish be­cause the coun­try is in a cri­sis. “Peo­ple don’t re­al­ly have mon­ey in the coun­try. Sales slow but we hop­ing and pray­ing that it pick up for East­er. One, one carite sell­ing, once it cheap they buy­ing,” he added.

As a re­sult, he said some­times they have to drop the price to en­cour­age peo­ple to buy. Ramkissoon could not say whether the price will in­crease or re­duce for Good Fri­day.

“Fish a lil scarce right now. We hop­ing and pray­ing that a fluc­tu­a­tion of fish will come to the mar­ket so that the cus­tomer will get fish a lil cheap,” he said.

He said apart from peo­ple los­ing their jobs, fish­er­men have to spend more on gas and trav­el fur­ther in­to the sea to find fish. “It goes hand- in-hand. Is a hus­tle right now,” he said.

La Brea fish­er­man Gopaul Balkissoon said while they were not catch­ing fish every­day, he has been net­ting a lot of shark and cat­fish. Balkissoon and his crew of three who trav­el 15 miles out at sea in his 25 foot pirogue, said he would sell the shark whole­sale at $10 a pound.

The size of the shark range from 20 to 180 pounds. The most they ever caught at one time was 25. “This morn­ing we hold one. It come up alive and so it fir­ing bite so we had to hit it on his head.”

He planned to go back out to sea last night.

 - by Sascha Wilson

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