the NR group development professionals     

Fishery products -working with small-scale producers


Small-scale fisheries produce substantial amounts of food for rural and urban communities and support many people in processing and trading networks. Hygiene conditions are often poor and post-harvest losses may be high due to poor processing, handling and storage. Improving the hygiene conditions and introducing best practice for processing, distribution and storage can be very challenging due to the problems of accessing people in remote areas and the limited capacity of government agencies to deliver training and support. Improvements are worth pursuing as the benefits in terms of food security and improved nutrition can be substantial.

Landing sites for small-scale fisheries are often very basic and fish may be landed and sold directly on the beach or rocks, exposing them to potential contamination. Improvements at remote fish landings can be very difficult to achieve and problems of access often mean that extension services cannot be delivered often enough to bring about major improvements in standards. Ian Watson has worked with a number of countries to assist with the improvement of standards for small-scale fishers, both on board vessels and at landing sites. Work in Malawi focussed on the improvement of extension materials for training fishers in improved hygiene and fish handling.

Small-scale processing and trading forms a vital part of the food supply in many countries and creates an important source of income, especially for women. Fish may be sold directly in fresh form but often the fish is salted, dried or smoked to extend its storage life which allows it to be traded over substantial distances. Small-scale processing can provide a high quality and safe product but often the processing conditions leave much to be desired leading to waste and an unsafe product. Ian Watson has worked in Malawi to develop extension material for improving handling and processing for small-scale producers.

See Also: Fisheries Products: Support to Competent Authorities in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands

Rural markets can provide a vital source of high quality protein for local consumption
Small-scale processing can provide a high quality product
Good quality, dried fish can provide an easily traded product which is stable for several weeks

local markets can provide access to high quality fishery products under hygienic conditions

Fish are often landed directly on beaches.  Conditions are rarely hygienic


Page last updated October 2, 2013