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At the mercy of fish vendors*

Trinidad Express / THE high prices for fish, a trend as traditional as seafoods are to the Lenten period, are likely to remain a permanent feature rather than seasonal spike, partly because of price gouging at the retail end of the marketing chain. The Express recently reported that king fish was sold at between $50 and $75 per pound at King’s Wharf, San Fernando, with other species somewhat cheaper but nevertheless still expensive. Kishore Boodram, a spokesperson for the fishers, even as he complained of negative factors that impacted them—rough seas, price of fuel, oil pollution-appealed to Government to put in place mechanisms to protect consumers from unfair prices. He suggested that a fish-price list be published in the media weekly. “We call on the government to have these data collectors tell the media so the people would have a fair idea on how the fish is selling. This is to prevent vendors from taking advantage of the situation,” he said. On its website, the State-owned Seafood Industry Development Company (SIDC), says: “…An examination of the price of fish landed at beaches and the retail price of fish at supermarkets and by vendors reveal that there is a significant difference in the landed price and the retail price. This ‘mark up’… can be considered as ‘price gouging’.”

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