Agri Business

Fisheries scientists call for antibiotic tests on fish and its products

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on August 30, 2020

Representative image   -  THE HINDU

Scientists in the fisheries sector has called upon state governments to adopt stringent checks against antibiotic residues in aquaculture and fish products.

M M Prasad, Principal Scientist, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology and Devika Pillai, Director of Research of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies pointed out that the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in fishes, shell fishes including shrimps and fish products are increasing in an unhealthy manner. They attributed the reason for this to the effluent release to water bodies and increasing organic load.

They were speaking at a webinar on aquatic animal health management for sustainable aquaculture, jointly organised by Kufos and the State Fisheries Department.

The webinar suggested adopting quality testing practices for domestic fish and fish products before distribution against antibiotic residues and other contaminants as implemented in the shrimp export segment. The export-oriented shrimp industry has stringent quality checks and management practices in terms of antibiotic residues, but the same has not been instituted on fish and shellfish products meant for domestic consumption.

According to K.Riji John, Dean of Fisheries Faculty, Kufos, the requirement of antibiotic residues check on fish seed and feed is more relevant in Kerala since the State Government is promoting aquaculture in all potential water bodies as part of ‘Subikshakeralam’ project. Proper antibiotic residues check on fish seed and feed is a matter of public health concern.

The webinar also recommended making mandatory the inclusion of seed and feed testing for antibiotic residues at state and national levels to ensure quality by enacting and strictly implementing the Fish Seed and Feed Act.

Around 50 fisheries scientists from various research institutes participated in the webinar, which was inaugurated by the State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan through video conference. The State Fisheries Minister J Mercykutti Amma presided. J K Jena, Deputy Director General, ICAR (Fisheries) delivered the keynote address.

Published on August 30, 2020

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