CHENNAI: In a bid to allay the fears of the general public about the use of formalin as a preservative, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar on Friday said that fishermen of Tamil Nadu did not use formalin as there was no need. He appealed to the public to not spread rumours about formalin because it has been significantly affecting the livelihood of fishermen.
The minister added that the government is planning to have testing facilities at fish markets and other places to show the absence of formalin to customers.
Answering media queries at the Secretariat after chairing a meeting on this issue, he said, “The Fisheries Department, Fisheries University and Food Safety Department have taken random samples at the fishing harbour, fish markets and landing centres, and have tested them. The samples did not test positive for formalin in any of them.”
Jayakumar explained that since all mechanised boats have cold storage systems (-5 to 10 degree Celsius) which can store fish up to 15 days naturally, fishermen had no necessity to apply formalin to preserve their catches midsea. “Further, the fish that arrives at markets is sold on the same day and sometimes the demand is not even met fully. On this count also, there is no need for preserving the fish using formalin,” the minister added.
Not our fish
When asked about samples testing positive for formalin a few days ago, the minister said that could have been brought from neighbouring states.