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STREET BEAT: Cry for sea egg money


CARLOS ATWELL

STREET BEAT: Cry for sea egg money

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TO SOME BARBADIANS, sea eggs represent more than just a local delicacy; they are a means to keep food on the table and money in the pocket.

And some people are saying that continuing the lengthy ban on harvesting them in the current economic climate is foolish and will only drive people to break the law. Already, some of those daring to break the ban have been caught and prosecuted.

In Marley Vale, St Philip – not far from a fishing port – Jenny Babb said a compromise should be found.

“It is time to put back a season in place, even if they could just put it back for a few months; a compromise would be good. People got to live and try to make an honest living,” she said.

Her friend Elrita Clarke agreed. She said the ban had been in effect for far too long and that “the policymakers and lawmakers sure of their money but there are other people looking for ways and means of looking after their families. They need to let people live.”

Her son Damian Clarke said the ban should be lifted as sea eggs provided food and money for some and kept people from doing bad things for money.

The Street Beat team also travelled to Oistins in Christ Church to hear from the men and women there about their opinion on the issue, which varied.

Mechelle King, “Steppie” and “Phil” said the ban had to go.

“My mother was a sea egg vendor and I grew up eating them,” said Phil. “The sea eggs are out there plentiful and the men know that. That’s why people getting hold but the marine biologists are just assuming. Sea eggs are a Bajan delicacy and the ban should be lifted so that poor people can get at them.”

King also said sea eggs were in abundance and were simply going to waste.

“There are so many sea eggs out there, you can stand on the beach or on the pier and see them so even if people catch them, they will come back next season like always. Whether they are reaped or not, they will die so why just let them die out?” she said.

King also said she suspected something fishy was going on concerning the prickly creatures.

“Sea eggs are being reaped and when they get seized, who is getting them?” she said.

“Steppie” said that when the sea eggs were plentiful, people should be able to harvest them.

“If sea eggs ready in certain places, let people get them. You can get a little money for them, you gine let people go through other people’s windows instead?”  

On the other hand, Danys “Blue Boy” Moore said they should leave the sea eggs alone.

“I only see sea eggs very rarely around here and I don’t think they will be coming back anytime soon, not at this side. I understand they may be more plentiful in St Philip and St John, but as far as I am concerned, the ban should remain,” he said.

One man, who requested anonymity, said sea eggs were destructive creatures and that harvesting them actually helped the environment.

“If you don’t harvest, they will multiply and eat all the moss and the coral and fish will die; then the sea eggs will die too so it is a total loss. What Government needs to do is to come to where the sea eggs are plentiful and talk to the people there,” he said.

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