Wednesday 8 July, 2020

Oistins Fish Market vendors want a return to pre-COVID opening hours

Fish vendor Tyrone Shorey preparing the day's catch.

Fish vendor Tyrone Shorey preparing the day's catch.

Fisherfolk at the Berinda Cox Fish Market are calling on Government to return to the 7 am to 9 pm opening hours. 

Much to the dismay of some fish vendors, the Oistins Fish Market continues to operate from 8 am to 4 pm as per Government's COVID-19 regulations. 

Fish vendor Paul Doughty claimed the 4 pm closure was bad for business as vendors were forced to clean and clear their stalls sometimes as early as 3 pm. 

"Everything is going back to normal, restaurants and everything open back up but why restaurants have gotten longer hours but not the markets," the young fish vendor told Loop News

He went on to add that the market was missing out on the after-work rush due to the early closure. 

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"They say on the radio the market is opened from 8 am to 4 pm but when 3 pm or 3.15 pm they have the gate closed and by 4 pm they are saying we should be gone already. . . .

"More people are coming in the market during the morning or you might get an influx in the afternoon period but the afternoon period is spent washing up because the people want us to leave. They keep telling us they want us to leave by 4 pm and by 4:30 pm they want our cars out of the car park," Doughty expressed. 

Patricia Rowe of Rowe-Pat's Fresh Fish informed Loop News that despite the reopening of businesses, sales have been relatively slow at the fish market. While acknowledging that this time of the year was generally a slow season for fisherfolk, she believed that it could be improved with extended opening hours. 

"Because of COVID-19 people were panicky and there was a rush, but as everything has settled and everybody got organized everything settled down. It is still slow but we do not complain, we are thankful and we hope the customers know that we are still open," Rowe said while adding she too hoped Government will revise the opening hours. 

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