Alappuzha: In a bid to ensure transparency in fish auction by excluding middlemen, the state government has decided to enact a law to regulate fish auction and sale. The new legislation will aim to stop exploitation, ensure fair price to workers and assure quality of fish.
The Kerala Fish Auctioning, Marketing, and Quality Control Act will be implemented for this purpose. With the enactment of the act, fishermen will have priority in the auctions.
Only people who are named by the Fishermen welfare cooperative societies affiliated to Matsyafed will be allowed to take part in the auction. A license will be made mandatory for the auctioneers.
Matsyafed will grant capital fund to meet the expense on auctions. In the five percent of the auction, one percent each is entitled to the auctioneer, fishermen welfare cooperative society and Matsyafed. Rest of the two percent will be given to the fishermen.
“Strict criteria will come into force to ensure hygiene in fish procurement, distribution and vehicles used to carry fish. A draft bill has been made for this purpose,” informed Fisheries Department officials.
At present, there are no restriction on fish auctions at fish market, harbour and landing centres. Middlemen are carrying out the auction by receiving 5 to 10 percent of commission from fishermen.
It is also observed that there is no mechanism for surveillance and standards of hygiene while transporting fish from landing centres to customers. With the enactment of the new law, quality and hygiene of fish will be scrutinised without failure.
The act will also include orders to take strict action against contamination of fish. It is assumed that fish prices will be made under control as the middlemen will be excluded from the auction with the new act.
Fisheries department additional director KK Satheesh Kumar stated that the new law will ensure quality of fish and fair value to fishermen.
“The Kerala Fish Auctioning, Marketing, and Quality Control Act aims to establish systematic and hygienic fish auction and sale in the state,” said the Fisheries Department Additional Director.