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Fisherman unhappy with Sunday market ban

A fisherman has expressed disappointment with the Government’s decision to close the fish market on Sundays, saying their takings on that day are their highest for the week.

Alesana Tauese told the Samoa Observer that selling on Sunday morning represents his highest takings for the day.

"All my catches are sold here and Sundays are the only day my sales go up. People usually buy from me early in the morning when fish are still fresh. I also have my own usual buyers that buy their fish from me," he said.

The closure of the Sunday fish market is likely to have a big impact on his family, as he is the only breadwinner in his family as his wife is currently unemployed.

"I am the one providing finances for our family, it is my first priority to sell my catch so that my two kids and wife will have something to eat everyday," he added.

"Sundays are the best days to sell fish at the market because people will come look for fish here at the market, but I know there is nothing I can do about it. Our Government has finalized their decision.”

He said he was sad when he heard of the amended state of emergency (S.O.E.) orders that led to the closure of the Sunday market. 

The amended S.O.E. orders state that all markets are to be closed on Sunday including the markets at Savalalo, Fugalei, Salelologa, Vaitele, Taufusi, Afega and the fish markets at Savalalo, Vaigaga, Fasitoo uta, Afega as well as any roadside fish selling market that the public has access to.

Other fishermen expressed similar sentiments, saying that they felt like they have been stripped off of their income earning opportunity.

Mr Tauese added: "Like I said before, the income from these fishes are our only means of getting finance, and Sunday being the most selling days for us fishermen and yet it's being taken away too. I am just sad about it but I know they're doing it for something very important.”

While the SOE orders state the fish market opens at 3pm on Sunday, he said he will not sell on Sunday afternoon as the timing does not work for customers. 

"Opening at 3pm on Sunday, it's not gonna work for us fishermen, because people buy fish in the morning for their cooking. They never buy fish around the evening.”

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