This manual is basically the result of the efforts to cover the training needs of fish technologists, particularly in developing countries, in the area of micro-economics applied to the fishery industry. The authors started to be involved in the project to produce a unitary technical manual in this area many years ago, when they were all employed at the Fish Technology Research Centre (CITEP) of Mar del Plata, Argentina. They had found that extension work was practically impossible, regardless of the scale of the fishery industry, if proper economic analysis did not accompany the proposed technology. They also realized that most of the technical professionals (engineers, veterinarians, food technologists) in contact with the fishery industry lacked the proper grounding. Moreover, they discovered that many managers and owners of small and medium level industries were not fully conversant with the tools that could help them to run and evolve their companies.
Later, one of the authors (HML) came to be in charge of the FAO/DANIDA Training Project on Fish Technology and Quality Control (GCP/INT/391/DEN), and found a similar situation with many fish technologists, managers and owners in developing countries. It was also observed that in practice this prevented extension (communication) of even simple technologies such as icing, and therefore hindered development.
The authors (AZ and MAP) have applied the approach proposed here to real cases while carrying out consultancies for the fishery industry and banks in Argentina. The approach has been also successfully evaluated against actual fishery industry situations in various developing countries during the development of training activities of project GCP/INT/391/DEN. Several fishery investments projects where FAO has been involved have been also re-analyzed. Successive versions of this manual, or parts of it, have been utilized as lecture notes in more than twenty different training activities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. This has proved particularly useful in testing the data and methods proposed under different conditions, from artisanal to industrial levels.
The preparation and publication of this document has been financed by the FAO/DANIDA Training Project on Fish Technology and Quality Assurance GCP/INT/609/DEN (formerly GCP/INT/391/DEN). However, FAO decided to publish it as a Fisheries Technical Paper in order to make it available to a wide audience.
The bibliographical references have been presented as submitted by the authors.
FAO Fisheries Department
FAO Regional Fisheries Officers
FAO Fisheries Field Projects Selector Handling and Processing