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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Call to ensure hygiene while handling fish

The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry conducted a one-day training for fishermen in hygienic handling and better preservation of fish here on Monday.

N. Chandrasekaran, Deputy Director, MPEDA, said the training was aimed at increasing the export of marine products through the Tuticorin port.

"During the last fiscal, only 27,172 tonnes of marine products worth Rs. 613.17 crore were exported through the port vis-à-vis 28,160 tonnes of produce worth Rs. 635.19 crore exported in 2003-04," he said.

V.K. Venkataramani, Dean, Fisheries College and Research Institute, explained the importance of scientific handling of fish in fetching better Unit Value Realization (UVR) for export varieties.

He said fishermen should neither wash their catch in the polluted seawater nor sort it out in the beaches.

Similarly, fish that was thawed at the time of weighing should again be kept at below 20 degree Celsius quickly to retain its freshness during export.

On the precautions to be taken during transportation, Dr. Venkataramani said vehicles used for the purpose should be cleaned and disinfected before the consignment was loaded and its interiors should be free from abnormal odours.

He exhorted the fishermen to establish halls meant for sales at locations where water, electricity and skilled labour were readily available.

"Steps should be taken to fit fly-control nets at the doors and windows of the fish handling halls to maintain hygienic conditions," he added.

S. Ashok Kumar, Junior Technical Officer, MPEDA, also spoke.

Source: The Hindu

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