Mauritius | Agro & Food

April 02, 2012

Fish Consumption: What Can Be Danger?

Known for its tender flesh and exquisite flavour, the fish is popular with Mauritians. But are they so far aware of what they consume?

Mauritius is an island, it is surrounded by water, so ... fish. Authorities and ensure that people receive the best fish. 

Maritime zone

Mauritius has a maritime area of 220,000 km2. This space, which belongs to us, is also used for fishing. The Ministry of Fisheries is working with Norway to better utilize this space. This allows, among other things, combat illegal fishing, manage and enhance marine resources. This partnership is funded to the tune of Rs 45 m.

Daroomalingum Mauree, Director of Fisheries within the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources, says that Norway is helping us in the research work around Mauritius. This exercise helps to identify areas suitable for fishing. The assistance is also extended to fishermen to enable them to fish effectively. It has been shown that in the vicinity of Nazareth, quality fish such as red or viel sacréchien were observed. Thus in times of fishing, fishermen have a quota and facilities for fishing. For example, they have lockers and folding type can fish up to 600 to 1 000 tons. The rest is left for reproduction.

Partnership with Norway is qualified senior. This strategic partnership, said the official, also helps us to locate and support our stock fish. Instead of wasting our resources, it comes to multiplication with the use of modern technology. Illegal fishing is also on the agenda of the partnership. Thus, all the boats are in port must have a license that allows authorities to follow them in all their activities. If a boat does not have a license, he may have a document other authorities, but it is checked to prevent any illegal action. The manager says it is important to follow the vessel catches. 

Having participated in the 7th North Atlantic Seafood Forum on March 6 to 8, Mr. Mauree presented a paper on all matters relating to fishing in Mauritius. Johnson said that this forum has been good for our island, as it was discussed to facilitate development. The impact of climate change was also discussed. 

The panga prohibited in Mauritius 

The Pangassus, also known as Panga, a fish is high in Vietnam. The flesh of this fish is thin and boneless. Three years ago, its market presence had been the subject of much criticism because of the bad sanitary condition. They are fed dead fish remnants and other bones. Its rapid growth and relatively low price are they are still sold in some countries. The latter is commonly used in the preparation of "fish cakes", pellets of fish or fish fingers. However, Devanand Norungee, Principal Fisheries Officer at Albion Fisheries Research Centre, is categorical. This fish is not available on the Mauritian market since 2009.  

For the record, this fish is native to the United States and was introduced in Vietnam in the 70s. The aim was clean lakes and rivers of chemical waste after the war. He was raised in the muddy Mekong River in bamboo cages in deep water, located just below the toilet houses on stilts. 

Mode of reproduction of this fish is also a subject of controversy. Growth hormones from the urine of pregnant women would be used to reproduce this fish in captivity. 

Toxic Fish 

All fish are not fit for consumption. We must therefore recognize and understand the danger is they may cause poisoning. 

Authorities are doing their best to educate consumers about the existing toxic fish in Mauritian waters. Mira Hurbungs, Divisional Scientific Officer at Albion Fisheries Research Centre, explains that there are 21 toxic fish. These are: croissant à queue jaune ; vieille babonne ; carangue (des bancs) ; bourgeois ; varavara ; giblot ; vieille cuisinier ; chemise ; cheval de bois ; vieille plate ; thazar ; pilote de Requin ; grosse sardine ; oursin ; crabe onze tâches ; tortue carret ; coffre ; boule tangue ; laffe ; vieille loutre et bénitier.

These fish are not for sale and most fishermen know, since talks and awareness campaigns are conducted regularly throughout the country. In addition, the Fisheries Protection Service officers make surprise visits to check products. Those convicted of selling dangerous fish are liable to fines.

Mira Hurbungs explains that there are different types of fish poisoning. There poisoning related to consumption of fish whose flesh has become toxic following ingestion of microalgae producing toxins. Of the 21 types of poisonous fish, twelve can cause the same type of poisoning known as ciguatera, which is caused by eating tropical reef fish containing ciguatoxin. Ciguatera is widespread in warm regions of the tropics, especially in the Indian Ocean islands, Pacific and Caribbean.

Shakuntala Thakoor, Scientific Officer, at the center of Albion, argues that there is no apparent sign of the fish itself, and can easily enter the food chain. But do not take chances. Ciguatera poisoning: the poison remains in the body and there is no method to get him out. It is very rare, however the symptoms are fatal. The best thing is prevention. It is also noted that no method of cooking or preparation or preservation such as salting, freezing, pickling, drying can destroy the toxin that can hold fish.

Save Corals 

The coral conservation is an important program on the agenda of the center of Albion. With the ongoing climate change, corals also experience strokes. Ms. Hurbungs're told it has an impact on sea temperature affecting corals that are vital to the marine population. Corals are important in controlling carbon dioxide in the ocean and helps recycle nutrients from the sea ,

They also contribute to the formation of sand, beaches and lagoons. Having all these advantages to its credit, the Department has taken the lead in rehabilitating coral reefs in Mauritius and Rodrigues. This program aims to conserve the marine ecosystem is rich and fragile. This can be done both on land and in water. 

The operation is to take fragments of coral and fix them on tables. They are then placed under natural conditions for regrowth. These tables act like artificial reefs. When ready, these corals are used to rehabilitate degraded areas. The objective of this project which started in 2008 aims to save the coral. 

The settlement lagoons 

Searanching settlement of our lagoons is among the priorities of the Ministry of Fisheries. This process is done by retrieving the fry (baby fish) that are between 0.27 to 0.32 gram to put them in hatcheries for two months. During this time, they are supported up to 5.6 grams. 

Subsequently, they are released into their natural habitat, where there is seagrass. A few weeks ago, a first exercise took place in the marine park of Blue Bay where fry are about 25 000 were released. Last Thursday, 25 000 other shoemakers were released to The Mail-Fayette. It is also anticipated that Maw pad are put to sea in a few days. Public cooperation is essential in this exercise, we Hurbungs Mira says, because if the fish are harvested while still small, there will be no settlement. Fish affected by this process are the mule and the Shoemaker Maw steak that are popular with consumers. So expect them to grow will benefit all. 

Recognize a good fish 

The Department of Health and Quality of Life remains vigilant on the quality of fish available in the market. Aware that there may also be contaminated fish on the market, there are simple ways to recognize a good fish. 

Fish consumption can not be done without regard to certain precautions. Thus, to recognize a good fish, it is imperative to check it. The eyes of fresh fish should be clear and bright, almost alive! The fins should be reddish and the skin moist, well bonded and shining scales. Cut the fish must have an elastic texture and not mushy (your finger should not go easily into the flesh). Rotten fish has a foul odour or objectionable taste, colour, texture, or release a substance associated with spoilage. If you cook it, it will always have a bad taste and bad odour. 

The Department of Health and Quality of Life performs inspections for all food including fish. Visits are made regularly to all outlets, including merchants that are located on street corners across the island. Sampling of fish products and fish is also performed for chemical and microbiological examinations. This is done by the analyst of government and the food microbiologist. 

These reviews are essential to assess its suitability for human consumption. Be aware that when visiting officers, seizures and that the violations set against some defaulting. Section 17 of the Food Act provides for penalties against any person who commits an offense under the Act. According to regulations, the offender is liable to a fine not exceeding Rs 2,000 and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

 

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