New Delhi (Sputnik): The southern Indian state of Goa has temporarily banned the import of fish amid fears of chemical contamination.
"The ban will continue till the end of this month when restrictions imposed on fishing along the western coast end," Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar said on Wednesday.
Goa CM Manohar Parrikar has banned the import of fish from neighbouring states for 15 days after huge traces of cancer-causing formalin was found in fish consignments— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) July 18, 2018
Read @ANI Story | https://t.co/aSdHQpQrE7 pic.twitter.com/H8vF9GqpF5
Another coastal state West Bengal — the biggest consumer of fish, has launched a state-wide sample collection and monitoring of major fish markets.
The fear has gripped the masses to such extent that popular tourist hubs like Goa and Kerala reported a sharp fall in sale of sea-food. Similarly, fishermen in Odisha, West Bengal, Assam and Andhra Pradesh complained of not getting adequate price for their catch.
Fish being the staple diet of Goans, I am personally monitoring the issue of “Formalin in Fish” and have directed FDA to seize all trucks carrying such fish or any other food items including fruits and vegetables, and to punish & bring all such violators to face the law.— Manohar Parrikar (@manoharparrikar) July 14, 2018
"Fish lovers have started to ditch the marine food after lab report confirmed the traces of cancer-causing formalin in fish samples on Friday. The sale declined over 70 percent in the last two days. Now, we have decided to put a ban on the sale of marine fish for 10 days from today (Monday) to make up for the losses," Pratap, a trader at the Unit-IV fish market in Odisha told Sputnik.
Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress along with 5 Congress Mlas n PCC members submitted memorandum to Director of FDA today n questioned inaction by the department of the presence of FORMALIN in FISH in d Goa markets @MahilaCongress #RahulGandhi @IYC pic.twitter.com/yN3jXJ7JSU— ADV PRATIMA COUTINHO (@adv_coutinho) July 16, 2018
Last week, the northeastern Indian state of Assam had banned the import of fish from other parts of the country due to the presence of the cancer-causing preservative in fish. The state health ministry issued a strict directive to traders warning that anyone violating the ban or found using formalin to preserve fish for the longer period would face punitive legal action with arrests and jail terms ranging from two to seven years and fines of up to INR 10 lakh (approximately $16000)
Formalin detected in fish being sold in markets in #Guwahati. Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Pijush Hazarika says,"We had collected samples from the fish market, results show presence of formalin. We have imposed a 10-day ban on import of fish from outside #Assam." pic.twitter.com/we1ipP2AMh— ANI (@ANI) July 11, 2018
In Kerala, the authorities had seized over 9600 kilograms of fish in the last week of June over concerns that they contained a dangerous level of formalin.