Curfews sink dreams of Easter bounce for fishers
Robert Coleman was anticipating a big boost in fish sales for the Easter season, where he could continue his tradition of buying bun and cheese to give to some of the seniors in Rocky Point, Clarendon.
This year, he doubts he will be able to do so as he has already been experiencing a fall-off in sales since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the bounce he hoped for has not materialised.
Further, the price on lobster has fallen drastically, and now with the back-to-back weekend curfews closing out the Lenten season, he is bracing for a huge blow to himself and other fisherfolk.
“That nah go nice to we then. ‘Cause if we even a guh ketch the fish and we don’t have anybody to sell it, it’s gonna be a big problem again,” he shared with The Gleaner.
Coleman shared that on any given day, a fisherman can make between $1,000 and $300,000, depending on the catch.
“On a good weekend – Friday to Sunday – with three boats to come in from sea for the three days, we can lose over a million dollars,” he shared.
Coleman said that with the curfew slated to begin at noon on Saturdays and ending on Monday morning, it makes no sense to venture out to sea.
“Who gonna be coming out to buy from us?” he quizzed. “A big problem. A big impact that.”
Former fisherman Hubert Crawford, who now has now been buying and reselling fish for the past five years, has also been feeling the pinch from COVID-19 containment measures. Many of the seniors who used to purchase from him refuse to come out of their houses to examine his stock.
“When I ring the buzzer, they say they not coming out because Government say old people must stay inside,” Crawford told The Gleaner.
He explained that he stopped venturing out to fish, having lost too many friends to the sea.
“I was looking forward to this Easter season, and it will affect me a lot. Still, we have to work with the system because this thing is getting out of hand,” he acknowledged.