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Low fish stock, higher prices

Fishermen blame seismic surveys:

By Sue-Ann Wayow sue-ann.wayow@trinidadexpress.com

OFFSHORE seismic surveys being conducted off Trinidad's South coast by companies in search of oil and gas are responsible for the current high price of fish, fishermen have said.

Erin fisherman Trevor Holder said surveys being conducted near Galeota Point at Guayaguayare were causing prime fishing grounds to become "muddy".

He said yesterday, "There is a lot of mud in the water. The nets get muddy, the boats get muddy. We have to pay people to wash out the mud."

As a result, fewer fish are being caught, he said.

"We would really like to catch carite, kingfish and salmon but all we are catching is those fish that people don't really want."

But because of the price, customers were purchasing cheaper fish such as catfish which sells for about $5 per pound, he said.

Vice president of the Trinidad and Tobago Fisherfolk Association, Kishore Boodram, said pollution, piracy and trawlers were also contributing factors to how much fish was being caught, and the resulting high prices.

Yesterday, the association held a meeting at the Claxton Bay Fishing Depot to discuss several issues affecting the fishing industry.

Boodram said a letter will be written to Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj requesting a meeting.

He said, "People eat fish right through the year. We should not wait until during the Lenten season alone to deal with some of the major issues.

"We want to be part of a bigger board. Our members want to be able to make decisions that will affect us."

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