Dry fish is the most alluring dishes that loved by all most all Bengali. Along with mind-blowing flavor and taste, it has many nutritional values too. It is a good source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, calorie, vitamins etc. Since Bangladesh is a riverine and sea- shore country there is found different kind of dried fishes like Rupsa, Chalya, Ritha, Chaply, chada, Ilsha, kakchi, lokka, sonapata, shaplapata, baine and lots more. It fulfills 5 percent demand of fish and it has brought 200 cores taka every year by exporting dry fish until 2012. After the collection, the fish is dried and packaged to supply in the local and international market. Dried fish that are exporting are produced in Cox’s Bazar area most.
Finding homemade fresh dry fish is way to impossible now, so there isn’t left any other option than eating fish available in market knowing the low quality. Though dry fish is highly demanded, there is no quality control system or proper storing processes either. The common method of storing fishes for a long time is applying harmful chemicals and fertilizers. It is known that there is used a powdered drug called Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT); it prevents the decomposition and inhalation of insects or bacteria and let dry fish fresh for a long time. The low price and availability make it popular to the dried fish traders. But no one even notices the harmfulness of this medicine. Besides, many types of chemical is sprayed in the shoots. According to the fishermen, the use of chemicals makes fish durable, bacteria free and attractive. Around 425 names have come forward and all these drugs are normally used as an insecticide to protect crops from insects. These chemicals cause bad effect on human bodies; indigestion, abdominal soreness, scabies, dermatitis, liver cancer, kidney damage are some common name of diseases that cannot be avoided if we eat this contaminated food on a regular basis. It acts as a silent killer; it could damage our nerve system and cause nervous breakdown, jaundice, bile gallstones, and diarrhea.
The fishermen in our country don’t know how to preserve fish in a right way, so there is a tendency to spoil the fish soon. In order to avoid the possible losses, they have inspired to apply such harmful chemicals like formalin, Basudin, Diazines, and lots more. These chemicals are so harmful that it does not leave any smell on the fish; even insects keep a distance from those fishes. It could be proved dangerous for pregnant women. Disable and mentally unbalances child can brown by the effect of it, even the chance of miscarriage cannot be ignored. If these medications enter the body more often, the reproductive capacity of the men and women can be reduced. Contaminated dried fish is being blamed for the growing cancer rate in Chittagong.
Dried fishes are not only used as human food, it uses in poultry and fishery firms too. The adulteration enters into fish and chicken body by this process. We should aware of this alarming situation. We can change the situation by inspiring fishermen for storing fishes in a scientific way as well as teaching them about the harmfulness of the contamination. Avoid buying dried fish if you find white spots on it. Raise your voice against food contamination and keep yourself safe.