Barbadians seeking to put flying fish on their tables this Christmas will have to buy it at a record $35 per bag of ten.
Even though fish vendors at the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex said they were shocked that the rocketing price of flying fish reached an all-time high, they said they had no choice but to sell it for that price since fishermen were selling it to them at $250 per hundred.
Fish vendor Patricia Mapp said though some may see the price as “a bit extravagant” vendors cannot do any better at this time.
Mapp, a vendor of 30 years, told Barbados TODAY that she believed this was the first time in history that flying fish was being sold at $35 per pack.
She said: “I actually sold ten for $40 as well when the season first started about two weeks ago.
“This is the first time in history that flying fish being sold so expensive because I remember when I was 13 years old my father was also a fisherman and I remember that flying fish were selling at 100 for $10.”
Mapp sympathised with the need for fishermen to sell flying fish at $250 per pound in order to make a profit after long hours and days at sea.
She did: “Right now, me and a gentleman had a conversation yesterday and he told me that they were saying that I am the person that have the flying fish sell for $250. But, the fisherman is to get something.
“However we buy the fish, whether it is cheap or expensive, we should be able to get a profit and the fisherman should be able to get a li’l something too.”
Another vendor said though the price for flying fish was what she described as “very hot”, customers were still buying them, especially hotels, restaurants and Barbadians living abroad.
Nevertheless, the vendor said she was hoping the price dropped soon so that everybody could be able to afford “the Bajan delicacy”.
“The price very hot but the flying fish selling. The restaurants and the hotels buying them up and we know them could afford to do that cause them making back that money from the guests.
“But really and truly, most of the fish expensive right now. Everything right now is like $9 a pound and the sword fish is $10 and shark is normally about $5,” the vendor said.
A fisherman who said he returned to the island today with a limited 300 flying fish after 12 days at sea explained to Barbados TODAY that the reality stands that the fish was scarce making it difficult to catch them.
He said that flying fish was sold within a matter of minutes when he returned around 7 a.m.
“We had vendors waiting to buy the flying fish. Within five minutes time them did gone. And as you could see the women ain’t got any out here now so you know the flying fish isn’t staying in the market long. But, it is a delicacy and you pay for the delicacy.
“But there is a possibility that it would get better according to the catch. We still getting a supply of the other types of fish but the flying fish ain’t coming like one time,” the fisherman, who did not give his name, said.