THE Fisheries Department has reminded fish vendors and fishermen to gut fish first before selling them to members of the public.
The reminder comes after concerns were raised by some consumers in Labasa on how unclean fish could pose health risks to humans.
Department senior research officer Sunia Waqainabete yesterday said it was only proper for vendors and fishermen to clean fish first before selling it because this was the best practice.
"Fish needs to be gutted before sale because this will ensure its high quality and life span," Mr Waqainabete said.
"If they are not cleaned, probably bacteria can spread and this can spoil the fish.
"It's basic common sense to clean such sea creatures before selling it because consumers are giving good money and in return, they want good products."
Mr Waqainabete said consumers also had the right to inform vendors or fishermen to clean fish for them before buying it.
"Consumers can practise their rights and ask vendors and fishermen to clean the fish they are buying.
"It's their responsibility and they must do it because they are receiving good money for it," Mr Waqainabete said.