Vendors told of health importance of ice display for their fish
‘Once you break the cycle of ice, the quality of fish is compromised’
The Labasa fish market vendors have been told about the importance of having fish displayed in ice during selling. They were told this during a fish vendors’ forum at Labasa Civic Centre yesterday
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sustainable seafood officer, Qelai Waqabitu said ice was very important because it lowers the temperature of the fish and this slows down the growth and acidity of bacteria and enzymes.
“How we manage the quality of the fish right from being caught from the reef to handling, processing and distributing needs to be considered,” Ms Waqabitu said.
“We told the vendors to practise putting fish in well placed ice even while selling it at the market.
“When we fail to do this, the quality of the fish deteriorates.
“Once you break the cycle of ice, the quality of fish is compromised.”
Ioane Latianara, a fish vendors during the demonstrating on how to handle fish at the market, told Ms Waqabitu that he has not been putting ice because he was not aware.
“The other reason I am not putting ice because we want customers to see the fish displayed clearly so that they buy without wasting time,” Mr Latianara of Naodamu, Labasa said.
Ms Waqabitu explained to him that vendors should give the right value of the money that customers spend on.
“We also told the vendors to follow the grading system and the standard size of fish caught.”
The Department of Fisheries has released the grading system which vendors are aware of, but they need to be reminded.
Another fish vendor, Alanieta Chute said she has been following what her parents taught her about selling fish.
“Now that we are told to use ice during display to maintain the quality of fish, surely I will be obedient,” Ms Chute of Naqai, Labasa said.
Edited by Jonathan Bryce