Mangaluru: It indicates that unless consignments have FDA certification, they will not be allowed. Goa’s official ban on bringing fish from outside, including Karnataka, announced on Saturday, is likely to kick off a controversy with fishermen from the State questioning the rationale behind the decision.
Dakshina Kannada and Udupi District Cooperative Fish Marketing Federation president Yashpal Suvarna have asked whether the Goa government has any evidence to prove that fish from Karnataka was adulterated with chemical agents, including alleged formalin.
Enforcing the ban without any proof is not justified and the State government should take up the matter with Goa, Mr. Suvarna demanded.
He told The Hindu that fish being a natural fresh product, Goa’s move to enforce compliance with FDA regulations is not proper. There was not a single incident where fish from Karnataka has tested positive for formalin preservation, he noted.
Fishing is a means of livelihood for thousands of fishermen along the State’s coast and fishermen will not venture to adulterate the produce with chemicals for short-term gains, Mr. Suvarna noted. The federation would hold discussions with in-charge Fisheries Director Ramakrishna who is visiting Udupi on Monday and later, with the Deputy Commissioner, to chalk out the further course of action, he said.
The Goa government, which hitherto had not formally announced ban on bringing fish from outside, officially declared the ban on Saturday for a period of six months.
According to reports reaching here, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane made the announcement on Saturday at Panaji and said that the ban would become effective on Monday.
He indicated that unless and until the consignment has FDA certification, bringing fish into Goa would not be allowed. Meanwhile, the government would set up quality control laboratories in the State to test marine products, he added. If the laboratories do not come up within the next six months, the ban could be further extended, he said.
The ban has come for a second time this year, the first being in August for 15 days. Later, the government set up border check-posts to inspect whether the marine products complied with FDA regulations.
Karnataka fishermen and traders have been facing difficult situation for over a fortnight following stringent measures in Goa.
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