Police officers threatened to shutdown fish vending at Kings Wharf, San Fernando yesterday after a large crowd converged at the market seeking fish for their traditional Good Friday menu.
Customers and vendors were warned and advised by the police to practice social distancing and wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
While not everyone complied with the police orders, the officers allowed the fish vending to continue. However, vendors and customers were pleased with the police presence.
Lynette Atherley said she has been adhering to the government’s advice to stay at home but came to the market to purchase fish for her Good Friday menu.
“It is tradition, especially for my husband. But, I was surprised by the number of people here. I walk with my mask I not playing.”
She was happy to see that the police were present and enforcing the regulations.” She bought carite and kingfish for $60 a pound. Fish vendor Dhanraj “Bhagi” Ramkissoon said customers came out very early yesterday morning.
“We get a good turn out whole week. Right now everything selling, remember they getting the fish at a reasonable and affordable price, is just carite and kingfish expensive.” He commended the police for doing their job.
“I wish they could come here every day.”
Another vendor Mel also welcomed the police presence.
“They doing their wuk and ensuring the people protected at this time.”
Moved by a caller to a radio programme whose husband died last year, Siparia West/Fyzabad councilor Doodnath Mayhroo decided to purchase fish for her. Mayhroo said the 73-year-old woman of Woodland cried on the air as she related how it would be the first time in 53 years that she would not be eating fish for Good Friday because her husband usually bought it for her to cook.
“This caught my attention. I felt sorry for her so I decided to buy fish and drop it for her,” said Mayhroo who was buying from Sunil “Ras” Ramlogan who operates a stall at Mosquito Creek, San Fernando. Ramlogan’s biggest attraction, however, was a 130 pound, five-foot-long grantikai.
But sales were not as good at the Otaheite Fishing Bay. Fish vendor Russell Katwaroo said, “We getting one, one sale, but we getting through.”
Another vendor Paul Thomas said sales were moderate.
“It not exceptional. Due to the circumstances (with COVID-19) people coming to get they lil herring to make their herring tea, fish for ah lil broth. No big sale.”
He said they were also trying to deal with customers as fast as possible to avoid large gatherings.