Banned since lockdown, fish sale to begin in Goa from Monday

Panaji: The Goa fisheries department has decided to allow sale of fish in the state from Monday, with certain riders, including strict implementation of social distancing guidelines the curb the spread of coronavirus.

Fish is the key kitchen staple of people in the coastal state and its sale was banned since the enforcement of lockdown last month.

Goa Fisheries Minister Philip Neri Rodrigues told PTI that the stock of fish caught before the imposition of ban is lying at different cold storages in the state.

“We also understand that people want to eat fish. They have stayed away from eating it for so long. So, to keep the balance, we have allowed the fisheries cooperative societies and associations to sell fish,” he said.

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However, the traditional fish markets will continue to be closed to contain the spread of coronavirus, he said, adding that they are trying to work out modalities on how to allow people to buy fish without the markets being opened.

At least 500 tonnes of fish stock is lying in cold chains and needs to be sold before it rottens, Rodrigues said.

All Goa Wholesale Fish Markets Association president Ibrahim Maulana said they welcomed the state government’s move to shut the fish markets in a bid to check coronavirus spread.

“But, the issue is about the fish stock which is already in the cold chains,” he said.

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Nearly 80 per cent of fish netted off the Goa coast is meant for export, while only 20 per cent is consumed in the state, he informed.

“When we sell fish, we will have to see how much of it will really be bought in the markets,” he said.

To avoid rush, fish vendors should make packets of one kilogram each and hand it over to the buyer rather than selling it in open, he suggested.

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