GUWAHATI: The state fisheries department has requested four institutions of the state to conduct in-depth research regarding the presence of formalin in fish bought into the state from other states. The direction came from the fisheries minister of the state after a test revealed the presence of formalin in fish.
The four institutions that have been given the duty of conducting this research are the Zoology Department of Gauhati University, Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, ICAR, NER, Guwahati, College of Fisheries in Raha and College of Veterinary Sciences, Assam Agricultural University, Guwahati. The official statement mentioned that the institutions will conduct the necessary tests after collecting various test samples and finally submit a report to the department.
This statement comes after a previous statement made by the same department which mentioned that it lacked adequate facilities to test the presence of formalin in fish. This was the key reason why the department was not able to conduct any tests on the fish that arrived in the state from other regions.
A study that was conducted by the Zoology Department of Nowgong College however revealed the presence was formalin in fishes. This triggered an immediate response from the concerned circles, especially the consumers regarding the quality of food products in the state. The report of Nowgong College said that 15 per cent poisonous formalin has been found in fish imported to Assam, besides the presence of 0.003 per cent cadmium and 0.015 per cent arsenic.
The Department of Fisheries claims that it produces an adequate quantity of fish to meet the demand in the state. On the contrary, large amounts of fish is imported from Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and other states.
According to a study, the per capita fish consumption per year in the state of Assam stands at 12 kg. The sources of fish in the state are the Brahmaputra and the Barak and their 53 tributaries, 2072 beels, 341 forest oxbow lakes, 6266 water body swamps and 5.45 lakh ponds and tanks including fisheries.
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