SHAFAQNA – The Grand Ayatollah Sistani answered a question about eating canned fish from non-Islamic countries.
Question: What is the ruling about eating canned fish from non-Islamic countries?
The Grand Ayatollah Sistani: Fish is Halal according to two conditions.
- It must be of the kind with the scales.
- It is caught alive in the water, or is dead in the net or similar to that.
The fish which is imported from non-Islamic countries and is in Muslims markets or is bought from a Muslim can be certain that it has the second condition that is caught by commercial fishing fleet, which catch fish alive and the existence of dead fish among the catch is rare. Regarding the first condition, if the fish is with skin, must be careful that it has scales; and if it is without skin, like canned fish, if the type is known like canned tuna or sardines, as well as the exporting country, by checking that the type matches the printed ingredient on the can, it can be found out that it is Halal; otherwise if the seller is religious and follows the religion which considers fish without scales as Haram, and most probably that he has been careful in the type of the fish, he can be trusted.
Source: PERSIAN SHAFAQNA