Thursday 4 June, 2020

Fish market shoppers upset over short hours ahead of Easter weekend

Persons lined up on the outskirts of the Bridgetown Fish Market Complex on Maundy Thursday.

Persons lined up on the outskirts of the Bridgetown Fish Market Complex on Maundy Thursday.

Droves of people descended on Bridgetown Fish Market on Maundy Thursday (April 9), lined the outskirts of the complex in hopes to reel in fish ahead of the three-day Easter weekend. 

Persons congregated outside the fencing and gate waiting as security permitted a specific number of customers in and out of the market. Some shoppers were equipped with their masks and gloves while others did not appear to abide by Government's recommendation to practice social distancing and to mask up if possible.

The chorus of voices in discontent on the outskirts was due to the 12 pm closure of the fish markets. As amended under the 24-hour curfew, fish markets are open from 8 am to 12 pm but several patrons contended that it was not enough time to conduct business. 

Speaking to Loop News, shopper Junior Walrond, said that the hours should have been extended and an efficient ordering system should have been implemented. Walrond ordered his fish beforehand and collected his items from the gate but several persons could be seen leaning over the fence trying to barter with fish vendors. 

"People traditionally like fish this weekend, so I really think they should have extended the hours and the system isn’t one that is organised," he said. 

Another shopper who declined to give his name also reiterated Walrond's sentiments, arguing that given it was the Easter season retailers should have aptly prepared for shoppers. 

"It is wrong that people come to get fish and can’t get fish. Easter coming up and the place isn’t going to open for Easter either and you shutting the place at 12 pm. You should extend to the time," said the shopper. 

Bridgetown Fish Market shopper, Kirk Brathwaite, also told Loop he found the hours restrictive, especially as some pensioners remained in line at post offices to cash their pension cheques. 

"The post office open until after 3 pm. The people get the money but when they get here they can’t get a fish. Well, that doesn’t make any sense. You should at least keep here open an hour-long[er]," Brathwaite said, adding: "When people get here they have to go long. The old people need something to eat too . . . . Supermarkets full up, could hardly get inside and then you say there is curfew so it don’t make no sense. They get their money to keep the money home that is all."

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