Oistins vendors complain of slow fish sales this Easter
With the Easter weekend approaching, fish vendors at the Berinda Cox market in Oistins, Christ Church are reporting “up and down” sales and rising prices because the fish do not seem to be biting.
Vendors told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that favourites such as dolphin and kingfish were in short supply, thus driving up prices.
For example, they said, dolphin, which was sold $9 per pound last year, has risen to $11 per pound.
“The sales have been up and down because fish like dolphin is scarce and that is causing the price to go up and that is driving away customers,” said Althea Cox, who vends in the market named after her grandmother.
She also revealed that earlier in the Lenten season, flying fish prices were also soaring, but have dropped in recent weeks, as the boats have been bringing in more of the Barbadian favourite.
“Early in the season flying fish went as high as $100 for 100 flying fish, but it has dropped to about $80 for 100 and ready-boned is $18 for a pack containing ten. To each his own; you might find the price a little different depends on where you go,” Cox said.
Fellow vendor O’Brien Lorde had a similar take on how the Easter season was shaping up.
He said with dolphins in short supply, turpits have become the fish of choice.
“Right now the dolphin is not there so turpits and ready-boned flying fish is what really selling. The last few boats that have been going out have only come back with plenty flying fish. The dolphins are really few and by tomorrow there might not even be any, so we might have to get frozen stock,” Lorde said.
Tyrone Shorey, the defending champion of the dolphin skinning competition – a feature of the Oistins Fish Festival, which reaches its climax this weekend – said this season ranks among the slowest he has experienced in years.
However, he was hopeful of a last-minute rush tomorrow.
“It is really slow this season, the slowest I have seen in a long time, but we know that Bajans are a last-minute people and from this evening into tomorrow I expect that people would start coming in. Once we have fish people will buy regardless of the price because right now everybody know that things gone up all over the place,” Shorey said. (CM)