A new study by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) and All Creatures Great and Small (ACGS) found that all fish and shrimp farms in India have hazardous levels of lead and cadmium.
“With careless use of antibiotics and insecticides, uncontrollable disease outbreaks, no attention to fish welfare and a looming threat of anti-microbial resistance (AMR), aquaculture is a ticking time bomb,” said Varda Mehrotra, executive director of FIAPO. The organization has requested a central and state regulatory framework for freshwater and brackishwater aquaculture.
FIAPO and ACGS studied about 250 fish and shrimp farms across the ten highest fish producing states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Gujarat, West Bengal, Odisha along with freshwater farms in Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Assam. They found that 100% of fish and shrimp farms in these states have toxic levels of lead and cadmium and all shrimp farms were found to be releasing this toxic wastewater directly into the nearby canals or estuaries.
“Such haphazard management practices also invite the risk of AMR, which is the next health catastrophe waiting to be unleashed, and it might be more disastrous than COVID-19. Recently, a group of fisheries scientists called for greater awareness about AMR, addressing the need to curb the transmission of AMR bacteria to humans from fish and shrimps,” said FIAPO.