‘Virtual fish market’ goes live

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A ‘VIRTUAL fish market’ has been set up online to allow Jersey’s struggling fishermen, whose livelihoods are threatened by the COVID-19 measures in Europe, to sell direct to Islanders.

Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (27627427)

More than 2,400 people have so far joined the Jersey Alternative Fish Market group on Facebook since it was established earlier this month.

And every day fishermen – many of whom lost their incomes overnight when exports were halted amid the worldwide pandemic – are posting details of offers and catches they have available for people to buy. Some are also offering deliveries as well as discounts for over-65s.

Jez Strickland, who set up the page, said the feedback had been ‘brilliant’ and that customers new and old were now buying directly from the boats landing the catches.

‘I set this group up to help our local fisheries by connecting suppliers with local buyers in these extraordinary times,’ he said. ‘The feedback has been brilliant, and it’s really good to see old and new customers buying from the boats – you can tell that many buyers are doing this for the first time to help support our fishing industry.’

He added: ‘With current events affecting all of us, we now need to adapt to survive. I have no affiliation with the fishing industry other than appreciating the food that these hard-working people provide for us. Let’s keep this local industry alive.’

The already-struggling fishing industry was one of the first to feel the economic impact of the worldwide response to COVID-19.

Earlier this month Don Thompson, president of the Jersey Fishermen’s Association, said up to a third of Jersey’s fleet was for sale, as the industry has been crippled by low stocks, bad weather and then a halt on exports due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lucy Stephenson

By Lucy Stephenson

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