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After 30 days of the ban on import of fish by the government, the Fish trade in Meghalaya started back on 23rd August when the restriction was lifted.
This ban was imposed on July 23rd when several fish samples tested positive for the presence of formalin which is a toxic preservative. The government had put a ban on the import and had announced that fine up to Rs.10 lakh and seven years of imprisonment can be the punishment if one doesn’t comply with the ban order under Section 59 (iv) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
The ban was slated to end on August 6th but was extended further when further tests showed the presence of formalin for another 15 days. With the ban been lifted, the fish trade resumed and retailers bought fish in bulk from the bigger markets to sell in their local areas. A variety of fish was brought in from outside the state for sale.
Meghalaya buys about 21000 tonnes of fish every year from Andhra Pradesh while its own annual production is only 12000 tonnes. The fish ponds that have been created by the aquaculture mission of the state can produce 8000 tonnes of fish in a year.