From time immemorial, fish was landed and sold at Melville Street and the Carenage in front of the area of the Cable & Wireless building where the High Courts now stands.
The area was called Jacks Wharf and Hughes Street was called Jacks Alley. It is interesting to note that there was a vendor’s market there where local produce was sold also. Other kinds of fish were also sold there.
I recall during the 1940’s my mother, even late evenings/nights would go there to buy whatever was available, be it jacks or flying fish.
During the early part of the morning when the jacks boats came from Gouyave or anywhere on the western coast, she will take a breakfast to any of here favorite fishermen.
Fishermen from St. Vincent came to Grenada each year at a certain period, they caught lots of Red Hind, Red Snapper among other kinds of fish, which were stored at the ice factory at Burns Point.
In many cases, the boats came in late, but next morning the fish was disposed of at the Carenage and Melville Street.
As with everything else in life there are high and low periods.
Subsequently the vendors were displaced and the area was used for the construction of the telephone company building.
As a result of an accident in the fish vending area, the fisher folks were debarred from selling there, but were eventually provided with a fish market next to the Caribbean Tobacco Factory.
There was also an outlet at Burns Point but both facilities were disposed of for whatever reason and a fishing equipment shop and agency was established there.
From all appearances the authority did not and has not taken into consideration the inconvenience of most of the residents of the area, who traditionally, along with the many persons who work at the Treasure Building and others at the various commercial houses on the Carenage, would flock the area to buy their fish especially big jacks whenever there is a catch.
Customers delight in getting their fish as it were from the sea to the pot.
Have the authority given consideration to the plight of the fishermen, especially those who catch small jacks, balaho, long gar, as a matter of fact the seine fishermen whose large catch in most cases are not taken at the Melville Street market?
As a matter of fact, for some time now boatloads of such catches come from as far as Carriacou.
The fishermen are told not to sell or clean their catch for the customers at the Carenage because the practice can cause Grenada to loose the gains made in selling fish to the overseas market and the area is generally left dirty.
As a result a notice to this effect was posted in the area and the matter was aired on T.V.
To my mind the reason given cannot hold as the fish landed at the Carenage is sold there for local consumption, not for export.
The fisher folks have been co-operating with the authority for some time now and have not been leaving the area untidy as evident when it was shown on the T.V.
A man was seen with small fish raised in the air displaying to prospective customers – a lovely display of the handling of fish being sliced. There was no evidence of the area being untidy.
The customers are/were delighted with the services rendered them – so why deprive them of such?
What should happen is that provision should be made at the Carenage, expeditiously, for the disposal, selling and purchasing of fish there.