Imported fish kicks off scare

Fish these days comes to us from far. Several big hotels, restaurants and eateries in the state use fish imported from Thailand and Vietnam – and poor quality ones at that.

With looks and taste similar to that of seer fish, the imported stuff also brings with it threats to human health — they being carcinogenic owing to widespread use of chemical substances. Hotels go for such fish as the prices of domestic varieties are skyrocketing.

Officials, as usual, are throwing their hands up. They admit there’s no mechanism to check the quality of imported fish varieties.

Sources at Marine Prod-ucts Development Autho-rity say, fish can be imported only for re-export. There should be a certain level of value-addition at this end before these are shipped out.

“When a fillet of seer fish costs `400-500, basa costs `180,” said a fish exporter.

“Though basa (pangasius sutchi) fish is a soft, fleshy and tasty variety, its high density cultivation in high pressure areas using growth promoters and antibiotics will make it toxic,” said Regional Agricultural Research Station associate director K.G. Padmakumar.

Dr. Chitrathara, a senior consultant in surgical oncology at Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi said, “Regular use of meat or fish containing growth promoters will trigger cancer.”

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