FISH sellers at the Labasa Market have dismissed reports of fish trade over open waters, which some claim directly affects the supply of fish at the market.
There have been reports that middlemen travel from Viti Levu and hire boats out to sea to buy fish from fishermen before it is brought to the Labasa Market.
Loriza Begum, who has been involved in the trade for five years, said fish supply at the market was as good as ever and there was a variety at affordable prices.
"I sell fish and buy them from fishermen that sell from their fishing boats at the market and we have not encountered nor have we heard of the fish trade incident," she said.
"We received a shortage of fish supplies during the month of June and July because of bad weather and I think that this is where the claims about the open water fish trade had come in.
"Due to the shortage in fish supply our customers have experienced a rise in prices of fish but to date the prices have returned to their normal range."
Another fisherman, Anand Kumar, dismissed the claims, saying that business has been normal for them and that supplies had not been affected.
Divisional disheries officer Northern Gerald Billings had said they did not receive any reports of open water fish trade.
Mr Billings also confirmed that such trading practises were legal provided trading parties' fishing licences are valid.