Workshop held on methods of slicing tuna fish for upgrading quality

The fishermen have been exposed to a new concept of ‘sashimi – grade’ fish at a workshop on ‘Improving post-harvest practices and sustainable market development for long line fisheries for Tuna and other Pelagic fish species.’

Sashimi (pronounced “Sah-she-me”) is a top quality Japanese dish consisting of thinly sliced raw meat, usually fish. At the programme organised by Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) in association with Food and Agriculture Organisation and INFOFISH at Tuticorin fishing harbour on Tuesday, Francisco Blaha, Fisheries Consultant, Waiheke Island, New Zealand, explained about the different methods of slicing tuna fish with the objective of upgrading the quality of seafood.

The traditional Japanese method of paralyzing and bleeding a freshly captured fish, which should be stored with slurry of ice to maximize its quality for consumption as raw meat, was explained. With a 22-kilogram tuna fish, he demonstrated as to how to slice the fish, which has a considerable export market value in countries abroad. As soon as fishes were caught, these methods of processing should be carried out onboard the vessel itself, he added.

Cleanliness, the key to quality assurance, should be maintained in fishing vessels also. Besides, the quality of ice for the upkeep of freshness had to be maintained, at all costs. Tuna fishing could be taken up by long liner at deep sea. While addressing N. Ramesh, Director (Marketing), MPEDA, Cochin, said Tuticorin fishing harbour would be facilitated with a new flake ice making unit and two storage units to sufficiently cater to needs of the vessels. Ice crusher facility to store ice in fish hold area in vessels would come up with a 100 percent MPEDA subsidy. Facilities like Refrigerated Sea Water systems, fish finder instrument, global positioning system and radio signal instrument would be provided with 50 per cent subsidy. More importantly, all mechanised fishing vessels should be equipped with chemical septic tank toilet facilities with 50 per cent subsidy of MPEDA. It would come up behind deck rooms in vessels. The faecal waste collected from such tanks would be released after being treated. The fishing harbour would also be provided with sanitation complex comprising 20 blocks of urinals, toilets and others.

The fishermen cooperative society should volunteer to maintain it. Some amount would be earmarked for maintenance as well. Water pump facility would also be made available at the harbour to clean up the wharf and its surroundings, he said. Karunasagar Iddya, Senior Fishery Officer, FAO, Rome, K. Rajendramany, Assistant Director, MPEDA, R. Balasubramanian, Coordinator, NETFISH, C. Ravindran, Retired Joint Director of Fisheries and officials from Fisheries Department and Quality Control attended.

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