Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has warned of stern action against those using dangerous chemicals for the preservation of fish.
Delivering the inaugural address at the diamond jubilee of the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) here on Saturday, Mr. Vijayan said that the State government had taken a serious note of reports about the presence of poisonous residues in fish from across the State.
Fish workers suffered loss at various levels between catching the fish and its eventual sale, the solution to which was cold storage. The State lacked enough cold storages at present. Steps would be taken to address this, he said.
Fish workers were an impoverished lot. There were even sections forced to live in situations akin to tribal communities. Fish remained their livelihood and hence any drop in the availability of fish affected their lives, he noted.
Mr. Vijayan pledged all support to the activities being undertaken by CIFT aimed at improving the living standards of the fishing community. He hailed the contributions of CIFT to the fishing sector.
Technical and practical issues in fishing boats should be identified and intervention should be made to make them more efficient, he said.
Regarding the efforts being made by CIFT to use easily available coconut tree and rubber tree wood, Mr. Vijayan said that bringing down the cost of fishing boats would be beneficial to the fishing sector.
In her presidential address, Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma called for better intervention of CIFT in the fishing and fish processing sectors. Fuel-efficient fishing boats, high utility fishing equipment and eco-friendly technology should be developed for the benefit of traditional fishing sector, she said.
CIFT should lead the way in hygienic fishing, storage, and processing. CIFT has developed paper strip technology to detect the presence of chemicals like formalin and ammonia in fishes. Ms. Mercykutty Amma said that the government would extend support to popularising this and make paper strips available over medical shops.
Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar, Mayor Soumini Jain, MLAs K.J. Maxy and Hibi Eden, and Sub Collector Adeela Abdulla were among those present.