The Saharan dust haze has created visibility issues for fishers in Vieux Fort, reducing the frequency of their fishing expeditions, according to the Goodwill Fishermen’s Cooperative.
Operations Manager Kaygianna Charlery disclosed that the dust has compounded the problem faced by fishers as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
However Charlery observed that the fishers are resilient people and are braving the challenges.
She told St Lucia Times that the members of the Goodwill Fishermen’s Cooperative go out to sea early and determine where fish are based on the movement of birds.
“With the dust it makes it difficult to see the birds and pick good fishing spots,” she explained.
“Some are not going out as often as normal, “ Charlery pointed out.
She also observed that visibility issues create a shorter working day, affecting the fishers’ income.
The Goodwill Fishermen’s Cooperative official said the cooperative has some 100 members on its books, about 60 of whom are active and go fishing on a regular basis.
But Charlery explained that it is difficult, because of the Saharan dust problem coming hard on the heels of issues created for fishers by the COVID-19 crisis, to say how many members have been affected by the dust haze.
Nevertheless she expressed the view that ‘the great majority’ of the fishers are not affected.
The Saint Lucia Meteorological Services says that remnants of the Saharan dust cloud that has been affecting the Island over the last few days are still evident.