Nearly 9,600 kg of fish, preserved in toxic chemical formalin, was seized at the border check post of Arayankavu in Kollam district. The state food safety department officials intercepted a cargo of chemical-laced fish from Tuticorin in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, at the check post last night, a release said in Thiruvananthapuram today.
The fish that arrived in two vehicles included 7000 kg of prawns and 2600 kg of other species. A total of 21,600 kg of fish with formalin had been seized after the launch of 'Operation Sagar Rani,' a drive to ensure safety and hygiene at fish handling and distribution centres, it said.
Formalin is used to preserve bodies and prevent its decay in mortuaries. The widespread use of the deadly chemical now-a-days in preservation of fish, fruit and other food items is posing a great threat to public health.
The Food Safety Department had launched 'Operation Sagar Rani' last month with special focus on fish stock, following a directive from the Health Minister KK Shailaja in this regard.
Meanwhile, a group of fisherfolks from the coastal area today held a demonstration in front of the Secretariat here by cooking and serving fish delicacies to alleviate fear among public about the sea food. A large number of people enjoyed the free feast offered by the fisher women community.