A new branch of the National Fishermen Producers Cooperative Society is opening in San Pedro, and itÂs good news for fisherman and locals alike.Â Since the CaribeÃ±a Producers Cooperative closed there have been few places to get really fresh fish in the area without waiting around at dawn for the boats to come in.Â Now those who love the flavor of the local catch wonÂt be limited to buying it in restaurants Â theyÂll be able to cook it at home.
One of the best things about life in San Pedro town is the diversity of delicious fresh food available.Â ItÂs something visitors donÂt always appreciate because much of it is seasonal, with lobster only available between June and February and conch from September to July.
Fresh shrimp can be hard to get between June and August, with frozen products sometimes appearing to replace it, but itÂs well worth waiting for a taste of the good stuff.Â The abundance of fresh fruit adds to the appeal of home cooking, especially for those who get the hang of traditional Mayan recipes.Â Street stalls are still the best place to buy these, with better quality produce at better prices than in the supermarkets.
The new cooperative comes as a relief to local fisherman, many of whom have not been able to find local markets for their catch and have had to travel as far as Belize City to sell it Â after spending all night at sea.Â The organization has committed to buying from fisherman whether or not they are members.Â It has acquired premises on Pelican Street, which are expected to open in a few weeksÂ time, once staff training is complete.
Naturally, the presence of a new place to buy fresh fish is not likely to distract those who prefer to catch their own.Â Fishing for dinner is a popular pastime in San Pedro town, appealing to both locals and tourists.Â ItÂs easy to charter a boat out into the calm waters by the reef, and river fishing is also an option, with tarpon, snook and snapper to be had.Â There are plenty of scenic spots to enjoy some time alone in the fresh air, but fishing on Ambergris Caye is often a social activity and organized trips offer a great way to meet new people.