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Good Fish

That statement on the home page was put to attract your attention (I truly do not have any such global goals of improving fish consumption in India or ensuring I change your family’s food habits by making you eat fish everyday), now that I have your attention please continue reading.

Have you ever heard of any of your friends or family developing rashes because he ate chicken or lamb? Think hard, the answer would be No.

Now think again, have you heard your friends or family developing rashes on the face and body, succumbing to diarrhea and dysentery (not because they are allergic to shellfish) after they ate Fish/Prawns? The answer would surely be a Yes. Now read further.

If you actually were to come with me to one of the fish landing centers almost, any one of them, you will not eat fish again. I was raised a vegetarian and not used to seeing non vegetarian food either live or dead or being processed for a very long time in life. During our expeditions to explore the world of fish, there were days I used to take a break every 20 mnts to walk away from the landing center to breathe some fresh air and come back. Stench is just one part of it, the way they are handled, temperature maintenance is very poor, extremely compromising. You would not know if the fish was put in the broad day sun light for an hour before it is again put in ice to bring down the temperature, which is a bad thing to do and you would have no clue of finding out when it died and how the temperature of the fish fluctuated from the time it died till you bought it. (Temperature logs are almost unheard in India) Excepting very few places in India, most of the fish is sold in unhygienic conditions leaving much to be deserved on variety, quality fronts.

Over a period of time in the process of trying to understand fish and its world, I have come to know a way out of these issues. The trick is to buy catch that is caught using a Catamaran. Now why is a question you will find answers to in the branding section. Please check why we named this company Catamaran, you will get the answer.

This is one side of the coin, the second one is this is clearly under explored niche market. People do not have access to a variety of fish products, processed in hygienic setups. The bigger problem is awareness. Like Fish smells, Every fish has bones all of which are not true. Now Goodfish is an attempt to provide access to variety, quality and hygienic fish products. In earlier days, like good old, 60s and 70s eating non vegetarian food was not so prevalent. Chicken was never sold the way it is today. People who reared chicken slaughtered it once in a while and ate them. Later, unorganized setups cropped up where all though access is created, hygiene was an issue. Now Venkys, Ramireddy, Suguna all these people corporatized or created organized setups in the chicken field and now you have access to Fresh, Hygienic chicken. In Hyderabad, where I live, I do not find one single unhygienic shop of chicken, but I do find, road side, puddle side random and foot path fish outlets during weekends, where no ice is used to cover fish and flies are free with the fish and the less we talk about how that fish is cleaned the better it is. People think that it is ok to buy from such places as they would go home an wash it. I can understand dirt being washed off. How are you going to wash off the free radicals or pathogens that the fish accumulates inside of its body due to its display and sale in such places?

I believe fish will also lead there, with some amount of branding and advertisement coupled with creating access to Quality and Hygienic Fish products, people will start converting from Chicken to Fish and sooner or later it will change the eating habits of people, although it is not my intent to do that. One positive factor that adds is there is a perceived thought of fish being health food. Whether I subscribe to that idea or not is irrelevant and actually does not matter but surely, the protein structure of the fish meat(any fish) is less complex than that of chicken and its higher order siblings like mutton, beef etc and hence easily digestible. And eating some of the species of fish is really good for humans, hence Goodfish. After all I may end up changing your family’s food habits. Ooh! That was a long story!

Owing to my liking for complicated names (Catamaran, Shoal, Pisces, of snappers & groupers :) all my choice), my earlier partner Jagadeesh almost waged a war to ensure we choose on this name for our retail business. His logic was that the name should be least complex and everyone should be able to relate to fish. Goodfish is our retail brand of fish outlets.