With fish prices traditionally lower after the Easter season, Carli Bay fishermen are experiencing something of a boom, as the majority of their catch of cutlass fish is being exported to China.
Carli Bay Fishing Association president Stephen Rampersad said the absence of cold-storage facilities at the fishing depot was a deterrent, as they were unable to store their catch for any extended period.
Rampersad and members of the Couva/ Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce and the Couva/ Tabaquite/ Talparo Regional Corporation, were on a site visit to the Carli Bay fishing facilities, Couva Tuesday.
The visit was part of preparatory work for the Carli Bay Fish Fest, which is scheduled to take place on June 30 from 10am to 6pm.
Speaking to reporters, Rampersad said the Fest was a “good venture” which had the potential to develop the area.
He said approximately 85 boats with an average crew of four are based at the depot.
“The main source of fishing right now is cutlass fish.
“The fishermen catching cutlass fish in abundance and it’s being exported to Miami, but mostly to China,” he said.
“We are benefiting from the sale, but we need a big cold-storage area so that they can come in with their containers and prepare the fish in a proper way.”
He said the fish is regarded as a delicacy which also has medicinal properties.
The University of the West Indies online guide to animals in TT says the fish, also known as the largehead hairtail, is a marine fish which has a band-like body, is elongated and compressed, with plain silver colour.
Chamber president Ramchand Rajbal Maraj said the fest was part of the Chamber’s local economic development programme to encourage the growth of the local fishing industry.