Aquaculture for all

Lent Hooks Fish Demand in Panama

Economics Food safety & handling +2 more

PANAMA - With the start of Lent, seafood consumption in the country increases, prompting the Consumer Protection Agency to keep a closer eye on seafood retailers to ensure that they are not taking advantage of the jump in demand.

According to a news item from Prensa, last week it launched a surveillance operation in all places that sell seafood to ensure that prices were properly listed and that scales were properly balanced. Of the 49 scales tested, one was found to be defective.

José Andrés Muñoz, an official with the Consumer Protection Agency, said that the first thing buyers need to ensure when buying fish is that it is fresh. He said that the gills should be reddish in color and the fish's scales should be in tact.

One problem that the agency has encountered in the past is merchants hiking the price of certain species, specifically snapper and corvina, which forces consumers to either pay the higher price or look for a cheaper alternative.

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