Post-harvest loss reduction in fisheries in Bangladesh: A way forward to food security

Research Grant Reports

A holistic study was carried out to assess the post-harvest loss of 30 major commercial fish species and 4 fishery products at each steps of distribution channel countrywide based on RRA and SWOT analysis, questionnaire interview, stakeholder-based dialogue and sensory, biochemical and microbiological methods.  Side by side, existing fish handling, transportation, processing and marketing practices with constraints were examined,   appropriate protocols documented in a manual for the reduction of such losses were developed and policies  for a sustainable fish handling and processingsystem for Bangladesh were recommended.
Post-harvest quality loss in wet fish occurred, based on different species and  seasons, from 7- 19%, with an average loss encountered was 12.5%.  Quality loss situations have been improved over the last decade due to increased use of insulated galvanized iron  sheet ice box, plastic crater and styrofoam box in fish transportation. 
Availability of ice, quality of ice and method of icing were the key elements for quality loss in wet fish.  Fish containers  played a significant role in reducing quality loss from 23% in traditional bamboo basket to 2.5% in insulated styrofoam box.  Over packing up to more than 200 kg in a single bamboo basket enhanced deterioration.  Awareness of initial and final markets actors (fishermen  and retailers) on  fish quality was found to be very low.  Mid-level actors (transporters, wholesalers and commission agents) were comparatively better aware. Dyes, likely to be toxic, were found to be used in a range of 29% and 55% in major carps, tilapia, gobies and large snakeheads in Dhaka fish markets.  Formalin was not found in the slimes of major local or imported fish species in major markets of metropolitan cities.
Quality loss was extreme in the raw material of salted ilish (60%) and sun-dried ribbon fish and Bombay duck (17-20%).  Major quantitative losses in traditional cured and fermented fishery products were found to be high in stored conditions (10-20%), due to inadequate packaging and storage of the products.  Total quantitative losses  were between 17% and 29% in dry fish and  23.2, 22.7 and 30.9 % in dry salted ilish, fermented Puntius and smoked shrimp, respectively.  Chemical pesticides (DDT, nogos, ribcod) were found to be used in most of the dried and fermented products. 

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Date and language
Oct 2010
Personal Author
Agris Subject Categories: 
Food Security
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FPMU Documentation Center
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