It’s been three weeks since the curfew has been imposed and fishermen across south Trinidad say they can no longer sustain their families.
President of the San Fernando Fishing Cooperative Salim Gool, who had predicted a fish shortage several weeks ago, said they were not holding catch during the day.
He said many fishermen were reluctant to fish at nights because they had no curfew pass.
Gool said because of a decline in fishing, the price of fish had skyrocketed in recent times.
“A bucket of herring which usually sold for $60 at Kings Wharf, San Fernando, is now being sold for $300,” Gool said.
He added, “We heard that fishermen are essential workers but we still have to apply for a curfew pass. Which fisherman knows how to go about doing that. Fishermen in limbo right now because we cannot feed our families,” Gool said.
Meanwhile in Cedros, fisherman Rakesh Ramdass said since this curfew started, he has been finding it difficult to pay his loan.
“I try working daylight and nothing holding. I sold about $300 but I have to buy back gas. I barely making anything and it really hard. I hope they could do something to help us, fishermen,” Ramdass said.
He explained that most of the fishing was done at nights and it was a waste of time and gas to go fishing during the day.
Meanwhile, councillor for Othaheita/Rousillac Javed Mohammed said he has been trying to assist the families of fishermen who live at Otahaite Bay and Coffee Street, La Brea.
“We have a lot of fishermen residing in that area. Since the SoE came into effect, fishermen have been suffering. Any average person who goes fishing will understand that certain types of fish they will catch in the bay at certain hours and if the fishermen miss that time period, they will lose catch,” Mohammed said. He explained that over 450 hampers have been distributed over the past five weeks to needy people in the community, including the families of fishermen.
Last week, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith told Guardian Media the fishermen could apply for a curfew pass to ply their trade. Each request will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis,” he said.