The southern Punjab, a region rich in fish production, does not have a quality control laboratory for hygienic protein analysis as there is no mechanism to monitor the quality and control the sale of fish meat. .
Southern Punjab leads the way in fish production, as nearly 40,000 acres of fish farms are located in Muzaffargarh, Multan, Khanewal, Lodharan, Vehari, Dera Ghazi Khan, Layyah and other districts in the region. The number of fish farms is increasing because it is a very profitable activity. The region, in fact, meets the fish needs of the entire province.
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Deputy Director of Fisheries Chaudhary Ibrar Gujjar said several traders sell fish in these markets where cleanliness and storage arrangements are poor.
These conditions affect the quality of the fish, especially protein, which is a vital part of the diet, he added.
He maintained that some traders were selling small fish, which would damage fish species and meat production for future needs. “Almost 10% of fish species are affected due to the sale of small fish,” he said.
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“Our rivers produce nearly 3% of fish meat while private farms contribute 97% to public needs,” said the deputy director.
He pointed out that there is only one hygienic protein analysis laboratory, located in Lahore. “Although the government is focusing on the fisheries department, such a laboratory should also be set up in Multan or any other district.”
Posted in The Express Tribune, January 17e, 2017.