India is blessed to be surrounded by the sea which is full of fresh fish, good and healthy for us, right? Wrong!
Our seas and rivers are so badly polluted that sea food like tuna, octopus, crab, etc., absorb contaminants from the dirty water, and their flesh gets completely laced with toxic chemicals and other dangerous substances like PCBs, DDT and dioxin, damage to liver and nervous system, and can also harm an unborn foetus.
Harmful bacteria like E. coli from sewage causes serious food poisoning and contaminants like cadmium, mercury, lead, chromium and arsenic cause health problems like kidney damage, cancer and mental disorders. The Times of India had reported that the Ganga pollution–monitoring project which was run by Patna University found fish from river Ganga had very high levels of toxic contaminants. The researchers noted that DDT in the fish was 16,000 times more concentrated than in the water. Its shocking to note that fish can accumulate toxins up to 9 million times more concentrated than the water in which they live.
It comes as no surprise that Indian shrimp exports have been on the alert list in European nations, and recently the UK warned India of an imminent ban by the European Union (EU) on Indian shrimp exports. The EU is miffed because of increasing incidences of traces of antibiotics found in Indian seafood. India accounted for 18% of USD 5.78 billion sea food exported to EU.
Don’t think that fish farms are any better. They are actually like open sewers, and eating fish, prawns etc., from them will expose you to dangerous faecal bacteria and industrial pollution.
How to prevent eating contaminated fish
- Freezing at -18 degrees Celsius or lower within 30 minutes of catch. This prevents spoilage and the growth of pathogens
- Cooking at high temperatures – this kills pathogens