Hardly a catch - Fish stock dwindles in Manchioneal

July 28, 2017
George Campbell
The Manchioneal fishing beach in Portland.
The Manchioneal fishing beach in Portland.

For the past couple of years, fishermen in Manchioneal, Portland, have witnessed the amount of fish they normally catch dwindled drastically, and it is forcing them to turn back customers who turn up at the beach hoping to purchase fresh fish.

The fisherfolk told THE WEEKEND STAR earlier this week that it seems that there is a depletion of fish stock within the Manchioneal Bay, as they have to be going farther out into the sea in order to get a 'decent catch'.

George Campbell, 55, attributed the low catch to the increased fishing activities in the bay over the years because of the need to meet the demand of vendors.

"People come from all over ... Town, Clarendon, Portmore, all over dem come from," Campbell told THE WEEKEND STAR. "And every day you have new people popping up and can't get fish because when you usually meet the demands of your vendors and have some left, now we can hardly meet the demands of we vendors," Campbell said.

Another fisher, Milton Burnett, said the scarcity of fish has forced them to employ other means of fishing.


Thieves raiding pots


"We still use nets and fish pots but true dem nuh dat prosperous dem start dive now," Burnett said.

As if low catches are not enough to aggravate the fishers, thieves raiding their fish pots have become a constant thing.

"Sometimes you spend $20,000 to buy nets and make your pots and they steal dem," Burnett said.

"It not even mek sense we report them because we nuh know is who."

But even though their catches are dwindling, every morning, sometimes before daybreak, boats drift out into the bay with the fishers trying to catch as much as they can.

"We complain but we don't have anything else to do so we just have to get as much as we can get," Burnett said.

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