Present and future markets for fish and fish products from small-scale fisheries – case studies from Asia,
Africa and Latin America.

FAO Fisheries Circular No. 1033

Present and future markets for fish and fish products from small-scale fisheries – case studies from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

by
INFOFISH
Intergovernmental Organization for Marketing Information and Technical Advisory Services for Fishery Products in the Asia and Pacific Region
INFOPÊCHE
Intergovernmental Organization for Marketing Information and Cooperation Services for Fish Products in Africa
INFOSA
Marketing Information and Technical Advisory Services for the Fisheries Industry in Southern Africa
INFOPESCA
Centre for Marketing Information and Advisory Services for Fish Products in Latin America and the Caribbean

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Rome 2008

CONTENTS

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PREPARATION OF THIS DOCUMENT

During the twenty-sixth session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries, Members noted the importance of small-scale fisheries trade and requested FAO to continue its work on identifying how trade could benefit small-scale fisheries and help in generating employment and income. Following this recommendation, ten case studies on fish trade and small-scale fisheries were undertaken in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The findings of these studies are summarized in this Fisheries Circular. The studies were carried out by INFOPESCA, the Centre for Marketing Information and Advisory Services for Fish Products in Latin America and the Caribbean; INFOPÊCHE, the Intergovernmental Organization for Marketing Information and Cooperation Services for Fish Products in Africa; INFOSA, the Marketing Information and Technical Advisory Services for the Fisheries Industry in Southern Africa and by INFOFISH, the Intergovernmental Organization for Marketing Information and Technical Advisory Services for Fish Products in the Asia Pacific Region. These organizations also prepared the study reports.

A summary of the findings of the study reports was incorporated in a paper on fish trade and small-scale fisheries, which was presented at the tenth session of the FAO Sub-Committee on Fish Trade, held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, from 30 May to 2 June 2006. The paper was written by Dr Susana V. Siar, Fishery Industry Officer, FAO Rome. Its findings and recommendations are incorporated in the introductory chapter of this Fisheries Circular. The Fisheries Circular was edited by Dr Uwe Tietze, consultant.

 

INFOFISH, INFOPÊCHE, INFOSA, INFOPESCA.
Present and future markets for fish and fish products from small-scale fisheries – case studies from Asia, Africa and Latin America.
FAO Fisheries Circular. No. 1033. Rome, FAO. 2008. 87p.

ABSTRACT

At the twenty-sixth session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries, FAO was requested to identify how trade in fish and fish products could further benefit small-scale fisheries and generate additional income and employment within the sector. Following this request, case studies were carried out in selected Latin American, African and Asian countries to study the importance of small-scale fisheries trade and identify opportunities for better integration into regional and international fish trade. The findings and recommendations of the case studies were presented and discussed at the tenth session of the FAO Sub- Committee on Fish Trade, held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, from 30 May to 2 June 2006.

In the countries studied, the contribution of the small-scale fisheries sector to the total marine catch was significant and ranged from 70 to 95 percent. The studies show that products from small-scale fisheries are largely focused on the domestic market. In Africa regional trade in small-scale fisheries products was found to be very important for meeting the protein requirements of poor people. Women are actively involved in fish processing and marketing and also participate in capture fisheries in coastal areas and estuaries as well as in other forms of harvesting of aquatic organisms. Their involvement results in increased well-being of their households since women’s income is largely spent on food and children’s education. Study findings suggest that women can gain from increasing trade opportunities through their involvement in value adding activities and enterprises.

The studies identified several avenues for better integration of small-scale fisheries into regional and international fish trade. Among them are product diversification, value addition, improvement of product quality and the access to new markets. However, a number of constraints need to be overcome before this can be achieved. Post-harvest losses due to poor infrastructure and lack of storage and transportation facilities need to be reduced and knowledge of proper fish handling methods needs to be improved. While products for export are meeting high quality standards, products for domestic and regional markets are often processed using substandard hygienic methods. Small-scale fisheries are also excluded from international markets because of the costs and difficulties encountered when trying to comply with international standards and those imposed by supermarket chains and other customers.

The studies suggest that efforts should be aimed at improving facilities for preserving fish onboard, at the establishment of hygienic fish landing sites, increasing storage facilities and the supply of ice as well as improving roads, which connect fishing communities to markets. Equally important are the improvement of technical support and extension services to enable fishing communities to access appropriate technologies and information and training on quality improvement, proper fish handling procedures and storage, product diversification, value addition as well as on packaging. Fishing communities should also be assisted in assessing their fisheries and aquatic resources and identifying those that have potential for trade in the domestic, regional and international markets.

Small-scale fishers and processors can get better prices for their products by shortening the fish supply chain and increasing their bargaining and lobbying power. In this regard, the formation of marketing cooperatives should be encouraged and existing associations of small-scale fishers and processors should be strengthened by providing support for institution building. There is also a need to raise awareness among microfinance institutions regarding the needs of the small-scale fisheries sector for credit and savings services.

CONTENTS


Preparation of document

Abstract

Acronyms and abbreviations

1. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF STUDIES ON SMALL-SCALE FISHERIES AND FISH TRADE

2. PRESENT AND FUTURE MARKETS FOR FISH AND FISH PRODUCTS FROM SMALL-SCALE FISHERIES IN SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIA – THE CASES OF INDIA, MALAYSIA AND THAILAND

3. SMALL-SCALE FISHERIES AND FISH TRADE IN WESTERN AFRICA – THE CASES OF GHANA AND SENEGAL

4. SMALL-SCALE FISHERIES AND FISH TRADE IN SOUTHERN AND EAST AFRICA – THE CASES OF MOZAMBIQUE AND TANZANIA

5. PRESENT AND FUTURE MARKETS FOR FISH AND FISH PRODUCTS FROM SMALL-SCALE FISHERIES IN LATIN AMERICA – THE CASES OF MEXICO, PERU AND BRAZIL