Resist from 'jumping chicken', say experts

Posted on 2009-04-27
PANAJI- Jumping chicken, as frog meat is called, is a Goan culinary delicacy. However, today there are enough reasons - most pressing - for us to forego this item. One of the most important reasons being that you could go to jail for a period of three years and be fined Rs 25,000.
If this is not a good enough reason then an even more valid reason is that pesticide residue is present in frog meat and this can prove harmful to the consumers. The forest department has even sent out notices with this warning.
“These pesticide residues in frog meat can lead to cancer and paralytic strokes and there is proof to that effect,” says Mr Clinton Vaz of ‘Wild Goa,’ in the forefront of this campaign, along with the forest department. This campaign is set to begin on April 28 – World Frog Day.
He also points out that two of the species that are traditionally eaten, the Indian Bullfrog and the Jerdon Bullfrog are “threatened with extinction” and argues that if there are no frogs then it would lead to a rise in vector-borne diseases as there would be no frogs to eat these insects. Mr Vaz also says that we will have to make do with more snakes intruding into human habitations as their main food, frogs will reduce.
Research has also pointed out that excessive harvesting of frogs upsets the ecological balance and increases the need for insecticide use thereby increasing both pollution and costs.
The Indian Bullfrog or Hoplobatrachus tigerinus is the largest frog found in India and can grow up to 6 inches in length. It is yellowish or olive green in colour and has dark irregular markings. Jerdon’s Bullfrog or Hoplobatrachus crassus is another species found in India.
Another danger that experts point out is that the amount of chemical fertilisers and pesticides that people use in agriculture lead to the killing of a huge number of frogs.
According to Mr Vaz, the forest department along with ‘Wild Goa’ will be creating this awareness for a few months and would also endeavour to tighten the enforcement of the existing laws that are stringent if properly implemented.
Sources inform that some of the points that are being discussed are getting school students involved in organising contests, quiz competitions, screening of short educative films. Street theater is also another option being looked into.
Identifying hot spots of hunting sites would help the forest and police department officials in concentrating on areas that were previously left unattended and a list of these sites could be submitted to the officials. Also, assuming that most of the frog catching and eating is largely done by Christians, spreading the message through the church could also help. The environmentalists also feel that information could be placed into the agenda of all village gram sabhas which could also be effective.