This Good Friday/Easter is shaping up to be a “fish-less” one for Bajans. And this is not for lack of demand; but of supply.
From Bridgetown to Moontown, the consensus is that there is not enough fish to go around.
Today a Barbados TODAY team, visiting the several fish markets around the island, observed that while there was a steady flow of traffic purchasing fish, the vendors were concerned they would run out.
Lucina Skeete, operating from Six Men’s in St Peter, described the fish supply for this Good Friday and Easter as “the most awful yet”.
“It’s more than 20 years I have been doing this, and this is the worst year I have ever seen. We have had much better times. Flying fish is very scarce this year. There is a lot of seaweed, so the fishermen can’t get to the fish,” Skeete said.
While busily boning a dolphin, Skeete “these are selling really good and by tonight I expect them to go”.
Still in Six Men’s, a fisherman, who wanted to be identified only as Graham, agreed with Skeete.
“The ocean isn’t saying anything now, man; so we are just hooking. Flying fish so scarce now, what you see me here cutting up is niggerheads,” he said. “Everything is going fast, man; but not much fish to sell.”
Over at Milly Ifill Fish Market in Weston, St James, there was a steady flow of people coming to buy fish.
Vendor Keely Gibbons said her flying fish were selling quickly, but many people were coming and leaving, complaining the fish was too expensive.
“. . . The fish is scare, so it’s going to sell ‘expensive’. Nothing else we can do; we have to make a profit too,” Gibbons said, noting that her fish was going at $20 for ten.
In Moontown in St Lucy, Merton Blackman told Barbados TODAY there was not a lot of fish to go around. but he was making do with what was there.
“The fishermen aren’t catching anything much, but you are getting dolphin,” he said.
Fisherman Randolph echoed Blackman’s sentiments, saying: “We aren’t getting anything, man; it’s real slow around here.”
But while sales may be a bit iffy with fish for Good Friday/Easter weekend, purchasess otherwise were going much better. Easter would not be Easter without the breads –– no less than without kite-flying. And one bakery ensuring Barbadians are satisfied and ready to entertain is Nicholls’.
Today, the staff at the Bibby’s Lane bakery were busy baking, packing and restocking shelves –– seeking to satisfy the long weekend. Sales manager Akil Daley said purchases were going great, and he expected them to get even better.
“Our cake specials started quite a while ago and our customers are loving it. More and more customers are trickling in, and by Saturday we expect to get bumper-to-bumper traffic passing through.
“We are just looking at all the ways we can assist, seeing that the economy is not as good as it used to be,” he said.
However, Daley advised, this year Nicholls Bakery would not be producing hot cross buns.
“We are focusing on the cakes this year –– and they are doing well. Maybe next year we will look at producing both,” the manager said, while promising Bajans to expect the best cakes from Nicholls, baked the Bajan way.