SUPPLY AND DEMAND: Fish vendor Ricardo Stephen sorts carite and kingfish at Sing Chong Supermarket on Charlotte Street, Port of Spain yesterday. —Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

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'Fish is king for Lent'

By Kimoy Leon Sing

"It is no surprise fish prices go up for Lent. Just like ham at Christmas time, fish is king for the Lenten season," said Ricardo Stephen, a fish vendor at Sing Chong Supermarket on Charlotte Street, Port of Spain, yesterday.

A fish vendor for the past eight years, Stephen says it is a simple case of supply and demand.

"Right now I would say prices are reasonable but I expect it to go up later in the month.

"People want fish during this time so as long as the need is there, fish will continue being the preferred choice."

With carite and kingfish being the most popular, selling at $40 per pound, and redfish at $28.99 per pound, some consumers have opted for cheaper alternatives.

Marlene Stevens, 37, from Cunupia, said: "I know during this time fish prices go up but I would not buy the most expensive. While I do enjoy redfish and carite, the power fish may not measure up in taste but it doesn't have many bones to deal with and that I like."

"The prices are too high so I just buy something cheaper. Blinche is a white fish, though small, the size is great for my children," said 26-year-old Ria Balliram, from Petit Valley.

Yvonne Albert, 62, from Diego Martin said: "I like kingfish, it is expensive, but I like the taste and I have to have it."

At Sing Chong Supermarket, cro-cro retails at $10.99 per pound; power at $7.99 per pound; and blinche at $5.99.

Those species, along with bonito at $6.99 per pound and jacks at $8.99 per pound, have become the substitutes for some people looking to satisfy their fish cravings and save some dollars.

"The fact is there are people out there that are willing to pay the price to get their carite and redfish. It does not matter how expensive it is, they will pay it," said vendor Stephen.

"Everyone's taste and needs are different so it all depends on what is suitable for your pocket."

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