The Goenchea Ramponnkaracho Ekvott on Thursday claimed that ‘formalin in fish’ row has affected their business as harried buyers are unable to distinguish the imported fish from the locally caught fish sold in local markets.
Although there has been good demand for the fresh fish caught by ‘ramponnkars’ (traditional fisherman), people eschew even the freshest fish brought into the market by the traditional fishers.
“It is not only we but also the women selling fish in the retail market are suffering. When our catch reaches the local market the people get confused. They don’t know how to tell the imported fish apart from the fish which are caught by us… not all people come to the beach to buy the fish where our catch lands,” GRE general secretary Olencio Simoes said.
He said that at times there are many women who sell both imported as well as locally caught fish.
Explaining the reason for this predicament, Simoes said that there is fear in the minds of the people as the state government, particularly food and drugs and administration, has failed to ensure the import of formalin-free fish from neighbouring states.
Media reports have claimed that the fish being brought into Goa is laced with formalin. But the FDA is trying to sweep the truth under the carpet, he alleged.
“The price of fresh fish has been soaring, going beyond the reach of common man. We fishermen should not be blamed. It is the government who is accountable and answerable to the public,” he said.