We are all aware that fish is Goa’s staple food. As monsoon has taken over the state, buying fish becomes a problem. This is because of the ban on fishing during the breeding period in the monsoon.
However, some still buy fish from vendors. Where does this fish come from? The fish that we are eating, is it safe? Let us see in through this article…
Most of the fish that we normally buy like Kingfish, Pomfret, mackerels, prawns, and sardines in the monsoon come from the other states in India (Chennai, Kerala and Kolkata). These fishes are fished and stored before the arrival of monsoon and the fishing ban. The fishes are frozen and preserved with chemicals for months.
A recent research has found out that the preservatives used for the long-term storage contain chemicals that cause cancer. Notably, the chemicals are Ammonia and Formalin. Ammonia is used to slow down the melting of ice used to preserve the fish, while Formalin is a toxic and a carcinogenic chemical commonly used to preserve dead bodies in mortuaries, to prevent the body from deteriorating.
Formalin also stiffens the muscles of the fish, thus when consumed by people it turns out to be a problem for the human muscles. Apparently, sometimes the consequences could even be severe, resulting in death. As the demand for fish increases in the state, more preservatives are used to sustain the satisfaction of locals throughout the monsoon period.
According to Navhind Times, sources revealed that cold storages in North and South Goa preserve fish in bulk for months to meet the demands of people including hoteliers during the monsoon.
Another point brought to light was the purchase of fish in bulk by wholesalers. Margao supplies fish in bulk and people flock there to buy the wholesale fish in bulk and store them, later supplying it at various markets. Since hotels in Goa serving seafood items are in constant need of the fish, the wholesalers’ gain good business from the hotels.
According to TOI, a new system is being introduced that will require wholesale buyers of fish and shellfish at Cutbona jetty to register with the fisheries department as buyers.
The fresh fish and stored kind both need preservatives as it arrives days after its fished. Many are being affected by the preservatives causing cancer and thus, it is essential for one to avoid consumption of these species until the end of monsoon.