TAYTAY, Palawan — A fishing community in Taytay heavily dependent on the live fish trade as the main source of livelihood, whose main market is China, is feeling the pinch of the COVID-19 problem.

Paly Island, a remote barangay of about 3,000 residents which had long been supplying live grouper fish to China, has suddenly found its market closed.

Mark Lawrence Pleyto, Taytay municipal administrator, told Palawan News on Tuesday that residents in Paly are highly dependent on red coral grouper or suno.

“Dependent sila sa live fish. Pero tinamaan ngayon ng Covid kasi ang primary market nila ay China. Parang piggy bank nila ang fishing dito, ang suno. Of course, sobrang affected sila ng Covid,” Pleyton said.

“The primary issue ngayon is wala silang market, Paano mo ibebenta? Talo na sila agad puhunan pa lang,” he added.

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Paly Barangay Captain Juliet Largado has sought the provincial government’s help in providing the local with alternative livelihood opportunities.

“Katulad po ngayon ay closed season ay nahihirapan po kaming mga taga-Paly kasi ‘yan po talaga ng pangunahin naming kabuhayan dito. Sana po ay mabigyan kami ng alternatibong pangkabuhayan,” Largado said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.