Test our catch, say fishermen

Fishermen in Nagapattinam district have urged the Fisheries department to carry out sample tests to rule out use of harmful formalin.

The Department has reportedly sourced formalin kits made by Fisheries College and Research Institute, Tuticorin, for conducting the tests from next week.

The request from the fishermen has come in the wake of reports of formalin-laced fish found in Kumbakonam fish market. The fishermen in Nagapattinam apprehend that the scare among the public could lead to a decline in the usual sale. According to sources in the Food Safety Department, teams that included members of Tamil Nadu Dr. J. Jayalalithaa Fisheries University had conducted tests using the kits in fish markets in various parts of the district including Sirkazhi and Nagapattinam.

There was, however, no trace of formalin or any chemical found at any location in the district.

According to an official of the Fisheries department, the concept of preservation of fishes using chemicals was, by and large, irrelevant to fishermen in Nagapattinam district, as the need for preserving stocks for long durations has not risen at all.

After comprehensive tests to be conducted at all fish markets next week, the district administration will issue a declaration that the fish sold in the district is free of formalin or any chemical, it is learnt. Such an assurance is the need of the hour to stem the decline in consumption of fish due to the fear without basis, official sources said.

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