Shortage of fish frustrates fish and chips shops
Two fish and chips shops at Lepea are lamenting the loss of sales due to a shortage of fish from the town market.
The demand for $5 and $10 fish and chips meals have been a reliable source of income for Nisel Restaurant and Raynims Fast Food, but the start of this week has caused frustrations for the owners who have struggled to satisfy their customers' needs due to a shortage of fish from the fish market in Apia.
Nikonia Iakopo, 22, of Nisel Restaurant at Lepea told the Samoa Observer that the fish suppliers at Matautu wharf, where they normally buy their fish, were short of supply starting from last Friday.
“The marlin we normally buy is $9 per kilo and each fish is about 30 kilos. So we always buy three fish at $300 each except on Friday we usually buy more," said Iakopo.
"There are other cheaper fish, like tuna but we prefer the marlin fish because it is the most needed fish by our clients. But since Friday last week, fish was short of supply and we end up buying small fillets costing $30 at the fish market. One fillet, you only get $28 after frying and selling out, so I have no profit, but I just want to cover my clients to keep them here.
"I spent $460 to buy about 18 pieces of fillet, covering only half a day of sales. The majority of our clients and all the people that come here always want fish and chips, more than chicken and sausage. But from Friday up until today [Wednesday], we have less sales as people just come and ask for fish and chips then leave because we have nothing.”
Another fish and chip seller, Céline Pereira of Raynims Fast food said they have had no fish and chips since Monday this week.
She said members of the public always prefer to buy fish and chips, not only for their children but for themselves, but they can’t do anything because the market is short of fish.
"I spend more than $1300 to buy fish for my restaurant because I know it is the number one sales for our clients,” said Pereira.
The two owners said that they have tried their best to provide what they can for their customers, until the fish supply returns to normal.