The first two rounds of studies on the techno - economic performance of marine capture fisheries had focussed on the comparison of the cost structure and economic and financial performance of fishing vessels. They did not cover the impact of utilisation of fish catches, value addition and marketing of fishery products on the economic and financial results of fishing operations.
The participants of the inter-regional workshop where the findings of the studies were discussed agreed that utilisation and marketing of catches played a crucial role in the economic and financial performance of fishing units. With a view to identify economically and financially more efficient ways of utilisation and marketing of catches and to provide guidance, particularly to fishery industries in developing countries, on how the economic efficiency of the various types of fishing vessels already covered by the study could be further enhanced, it was suggested that further monitoring and analysis should focus on utilisation of catch and marketing of fishery products.
Working group III of the workshop elaborated specific proposals how this could be studied and the proposals were then endorsed in plenary. The following priority areas for studies were identified by the working group.
1. Studies of costs and benefits of post harvest technologies for
2. Study of the cost of marketing from the time of landing to retailing, taking into consideration all logistics involved and the entire market chain
3. Costs and benefits of the utilization of by-catch and comparative analysis of its use as animal feed and for human consumption.
4. Comparative cost analysis of processing of fish/filleting of fish on-board vessels and on shore.
5. Study of possible advantages of an intermediary development approach to be adopted for encouraging smaller grading/processing/cold storage units at a number of small landing centers. This would reduce the labour cost and allow better utilization of existing manpower with the respective fishermen.
6. Study of costs and benefits of improving handling of catches on board. This should include the use of refrigerated seawater in some small pelagic fisheries and its impact on and advantages for catch utilisation.
In the light of above recommendations endorsed by the plenary of the workshop, it was also suggested that the work programme of the FAO Fish Utilisation and Marketing Service regarding by-catch utilisation and the use of undervalued resources should be forcefully pursued and work in Asian countries be promoted. INFOFISH should be involved in these activities. A workshop where the results of this work as well as the expansion of the cost and earnings studies of marine fisheries into the post harvest field could be analysed and discussed, should be planned for 2002.