The demand for fish jacks up the prices

Holy Thursday is a busy time for vendors because fish and other types of seafood will traditionally be consumed on Good Friday. At the various fish markets this morning, we found that the demand for fish has driven the price up to an average of eight dollars per pound.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The yearly congregation of fish lovers at the Conch Shell Bay Fish Market near Vernon Street during Holy Week has always been a sight; vendors wheeling and dealing the rising prices of their daily catch to eager customers.  The cost this time of year is quite steep but it does not affect the overwhelming demand.

Alfred Ramirez, Fisherman/Vendor

Alfred Ramirez

“The fish dehn dah eight dollars right now.  Right now gas expensive, yo goh out deh yo wah pay nine dollars, eight dollars, five dollars, six dollars.  Gas dah twelve dollars a gallon yo check.  Now I dah only di clean man ah cyant sell right now cause farm me usually buy and sell.  Ah cyant sell because a di way di price dehn di go.  So right now as yo notice ah di slice up dis barrow ya and di try hurry dis fi geh wah next job.”

While some may fuss about the steep prices, others agree that Easter is a fisherman’s Christmas.  They understand that along with great demand comes the business of supplying that need.

Customer

“Easter da bout fish and we can’t eat di money so we have to keep di tradition going right.  I noh live ya, I live dah LA but once I cohn I wahn my fish.  So if da eight dollars, if da five dollars I wah buy my fish because I wahn my fish, yo know.  Dat da di bottomline, di man dehn go out deh go work haad fu bring di fish.  Yo have to give di man dehn weh dehn due, da no like, you know.  Fishaman job da noh no easy job, da haad job so you have to give di man dehn weh dehn due.”

Chef Alex, a popular cook at the Radisson, is on the hunt for a sizeable snapper that is reasonably priced.  The problem though, is that big snappers are a rarity this time around.

Chef Alex, Customer

Chef Alex

“Hearing from different people, you know, I hear it is very much expensive and that is, the fishermen are saying, due to the raise [in the price] of fuel as well you know, so you know if the fuel raise the fishermen they have to raise their prices too, noh.”

On display is a fresh catch of snappers, jacks and several other exotic fish, despite the scarcity of a generous catch.

Alfred Ramirez

“Normally we woulda just go out and ting a couple days and like right now fi dis Easter we just di try do wah lee ting.  Right now we di sell fi like six or seven dollars a pound fuh di jack and ting right now yoh dig.”

For those who were not able to beat today’s rush the fishermen who vend at the foot of the Vernon Street Bridge say they will be on hand tomorrow morning only.

Alfred Ramirez

“Di ketch weh come een yesterday I get rid ah dat and I deh pan di second ketch.  Di man gaan da sea again because ih di try bring the third ketch fu tomorrow weh da di bashment day dehn call it, you know.  Right now di price noh really raise yet, di price ah raise tomorrow when yo wah seh like dehn ya right ya soh wah sell fu like, tomorrow dehn ya wa be eight dollars a pound, nine dollars a pound depends pan di size right. Di small one dehn wah sell fu like five, six dollars.  Some people wah sell dehn fu like maybe ten dollars, you know.  Each and everyone to dehn own.”

Channel 5