FISHERMEN at the Queens Wharf in Lautoka are feeling the pinch of the changing weather conditions and high cost of living.
With a basic income of $80 to $90 per week, the local fishermen are barely finding means to survive.
On average, the cost of boat fuel along with daily food supply sits at about $500 for each three or four-day trip they make.
What we are spending is more than what we earn, said Bal Ram, a local fisherman who is part of a four men crew.
A fisherman for more than 30 years, Mr Ram said they were finding it increasingly hard to catch fish.
The cold weather is making it very hard for us, he said.
From his 35 years of fishing knowledge, Mr Ram believes that because of the cold temperatures, fish have stopped feeding.
He said the trips had been difficult since the January floods.
To compare our fishing trips to previous years, this is the worst because we have never experienced such extreme weather changes, he said.
Another fisherman, Rahimat Ali, said while they fished at their usual spots in the Yasawas, they had to contend with unpredictable winds, strong currents and changing temperatures. Mr Ali also said bundles of fish now sold at $12 a bundle or more depending on the quantity and size of fish.
He said more than 100 fishermen were affected.
Meanwhile, the fishermen have also written a petition to the Lautoka district office asking for government assistance.
We are worse off than the cane farmers, said Mr Ali. He said they had yet to receive any word from the DOs office.
Divisional planning officer west Luke Moroivalu said he was yet to come across a petition given by the association.