Fishmongers warned: Stop using formalin

LAOAG CITY — The Provincial Fisheries in Ilocos Norte has warned fishmongers here to stop selling fish preserved with formalin, a morgue chemical.

In a sample of smoked fish taken at the Batac City public market, Arthur Valente, Fish Regulatory Officer and coordinator, confirmed there was a trace of formalin in a stock of dried fish being sold to consumers.

According to Valente, dried fish found with formalin looks rubberized and is hard when cooked.

In Northern Luzon where fish catch is abundant, there had been reports of some unscrupulous fishmongers who use formalin, a chemical used to preserve dead bodies in mortuaries, to prevent their catch from rotting away.

Due to lack of manpower, Valente admitted they could hardly monitor all public markets with fish stocks which could probably be contaminated with formalin.

He also appealed to consumers to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity in their area of jurisdiction.