Fish Market in Suva
One thing I always look forward to when I visit the Pacific Islands are the markets. There are no malls to saunter through and no over-sized supermarket excursions to exploit in the South Pacific. Its just you and the local produce! The only tricky thing is that there are little to no modern methods of preservation of produce there. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’d say its more an adventure than a chore to shop daily at the island markets. There’s nothing like the unconditional flavor of fresh produce!
Like many of Fiji’s Pacific island cousins the concept of open air markets has always been a part of their culture and community. This market in Suva is one of the oldest markets still going strong in the South Pacific. Just like the traditional fruit and vegetable markets, this is where the fish market was also housed.
The street set up in this market is a fairly new addition to the Suva fish market and I hope its not there for too long – discussions brew over the development of a “better situation” for how the markets are set up. I’d love to see the potential of both the markets and of the people maximized for the better of the community and their produce.
Based on my many visits to the Suva markets I can assure that you’ll see a bounty of seafood available. Painted crayfish, crabs tied up and still wriggling, Cawake (sea urchin), many large shellfish, Parrot fish and of course the reliable Snapper are some of the delights you’ll encounter, just to name a few!
It’s hard to resist buying these extraordinary reef fish but do exercise care as there have been cases of poisoning. Do your research as it is not just about the varieties of fish, it is also about the locations where the fish was sourced and sometimes it is even it’s size. There is also a difference between venomous fish and toxic fish as some venom is neutralised when the fish is cooked. There are many stories about local immunity but I would be more inclined to think it is about local expert knowledge. So don’t be afraid to ask or inquire because it’d be a shame to miss out and don’t let that scare you off too easily, there is plenty to choose from that is totally safe too!
Harris Road, Suva, Fiji.
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Blog by Anna Marbrook
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