Formalin scare: Goa's rejection of fish costs dear

Hundreds of trucks carrying fish from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kanara districts to Goa are stranded in Karwar and Majali checkposts in Uttara Kannada district after being rejected by Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in Goa on the grounds that fish caught in Karnataka’s fishing jetties were adulterated with formalin. DH file photo

Hundreds of trucks carrying fish from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kanara districts to Goa are stranded in Karwar and Majali checkposts in Uttara Kannada district after being rejected by Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in Goa on the grounds that fish caught in Karnataka’s fishing jetties were adulterated with formalin.

On an average, every day 100 trucks carry fish to Goa from the three coastal districts in the state.

The rejection of fish like Pomfret, which has high commercial value, by Goa government has dealt a big blow to the fishermen already reeling under inclement weather, increasing diesel prices, crash in prices among others.

South Kanara and Udupi District Co-operative Fish Marketing Federation Limited president Yashpal Suvarna said the allegations of fish laced with formalin were “baseless.”

“The laboratory tests on samples of fish caught along Karnataka’s coast has revealed zero traces of formalin,’’ Suvarna said and suspected that the traders in Goa were spreading false rumours on fish being adulterated with formalin.

These rumours had already inflicted the damage and local traders (in Goa) are encashing on the shortage by increasing the prices of fish, he added.

“With supply exceeding demand, the prices of fish crashed further this week in local market,” fishermen said.

Fish of high commercial value like white pomfret sold for Rs 600 per kg has crashed to Rs 300. The prices of black pomfret has dipped to Rs 250 per kg and Seer (Anjal) had crashed to about Rs 300 per kg. “With each fishing expedition involving an expenditure of Rs five lakh, fishermen are reluctant to venture into the sea,” Malpe Fishermen Association president Satish Khunder said.

With fish rotting due to rejection, the total losses are in crores, Suvarna said.

He appealed to the Chief Minister to intervene and initiate discussions with his Goa counterpart before the situation turned worse and crippled the entire economy along the coast.

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Formalin scare: Goa's rejection of fish costs dear

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