1.1 Nutritional benefits of fish and shellfish
1.2 Characteristics of consumption in the region
1.3 Annual consumption of fish and shellfish
1.4 Gross market data
1.5 Specific market data
1.6 Information for the trade
1.7 Technical assistance in the sub-sector
Fish is of particular importance in East Asia where it contributes significantly to human food needs, particularly to those at risk of under- or malnutrition.
The nutritional quality of fish is similar to but somewhat higher than that in meat and milk, and less than that in eggs. The protein content of most fish species varies between 15 and 20%; fat content varies more widely than protein, water, or mineral content.
Fish provides a good combination of amino-acids well suited to human nutritional requirements. It is particularly high in lysine (in which cereal proteins are relatively low) and sulphur amino-acids; this makes it extremely efficient in supplementing the low protein, high carbohydrate diets of most countries in the region. A relatively small amount of fish protein in combination with cereal-based diet therefore enhances the nutritional quality of the cereal protein and improves the overall quality of the diet. In addition, fish provides most of the vitamins (particularly A, D, and B) and a good selection of minerals (especially phosphorus, calcium, and iron), trace elements, and iodine (in marine species). The high content of poly-unsaturated fatty acids also contributes significantly to essential fatty acid requirements important in some cases in lowering blood cholesterol levels.
In East Asia fish is regarded as the best kind of food. In China, for example, it is highly valued by every family, and from time immemorial a person gave someone fish if he wanted to please him. In most other countries fish is served at all festivals, social functions, family celebrations, and religious ceremonies as almost everyone, religious restrictions notwithstanding, can eat fish.
Fish is also central to the diets of most countries in the region and provides a large percentage of the animal protein requirements of the people. In 1974, the contribution of fish to the daily animal protein intake of the population varied from approximately 30% in Hong Kong to 54% in the Philippines, and 67.2% in Viet Nam.
From 1980 to 1982 the average calorie contribution of fish and fishery products to the per caput animal protein intake ranged from a low 6.41% in China, to a high 30.93 and 37.91% in the Philippines and Japan, respectively.
Throughout the region most of the fish production is meant for human consumption, with a small portion going to non-food or industrial uses, such as fish meal (for livestock, poultry, and fish feeds), fertilizer, and fish oil. In most countries fish accounts for a large percentage of the animal protein supply, in some cases providing as much as 50% of the animal protein in the diet. This is true not only in the developing countries but also in Japan, a developed country, which has in fact the highest per caput fish consumption in the region, and possibly in the world.
While consumer preference in the region is largely for fresh fish, except in the DPR Korea where people prefer frozen to fresh fish, consumption patterns in the different countries exhibit some variations. For example, freshwater fish is more preferred to marine finfish by the Chinese in Hong Kong, Taiwan PC, and China. The Japanese and the Koreans also show a preference for freshwater fish; but whereas the Chinese consume mostly the Chinese carps, the Japanese and the Koreans prefer rainbow trout, "ayu" (a salmonid) and eel. Filipinos generally prefer brackishwater or marine finfish to freshwater fish, especially carps, which thus have a limited market.
Consumption patterns also vary within the same country as a result of different local eating habits and the supply of fresh fish. In Japan the general trend in recent years is that processed products such as dried and salted fish and shellfish are popular in cities, and unprocessed products seem to be preferred in rural districts. Also less fish and shellfish is consumed in large cities than in rural communities, probably on account of the relatively lower level of price increases of meats compared with fish.
In 1984 the total fish supply in the region (fish catch plus imports less exports) was equal to 19.2 million tons, representing 33.8% of the total world fish supply in that year. Based on a total population of 1.3 billion in 1984, the average per caput fish supply in the region was 30.1 kg/yr, which was 2.5 times higher than the world average of 12.1 kg/yr. Annual fish consumption values per person ranged for an extremely low 1 kg/yr in Mongolia, to low 4.9 and 5.1 kg/yr in China and Laos, respectively, to moderate 35.7, 39.,3 and 45 kg/yr in the Philippines, DPR Korea, and Hong Kong, respectively, to a high 74.5 kg/yr in Japan (see Annex I, Table 1).
Five countries in East Asia (viz. Brunei, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, and Japan) are net importers of fish and fishery products, with deficits ranging from a low 957 t in Macau to a high 942 700 t in Japan. Laos is neither a fish exporter nor an importer, and the rest of the countries are net exporters of fish and fishery products, with the Republic of Korea, China, the Philippines, DPR Korea, and Taiwan PC being large exporters. These countries have shifted from net importers to net exporters in the past decade, mainly as a result of their highly successful aquaculture activities.
The trade deficits in fishery commodities for those net importing countries have grown even larger in 1986, with Japan's balance soaring from -942 700 t in 1984 to -5.7 million t in 1986. On the other hand those net exporting countries have increased their exports making their positive balances even higher (see Annex I, Table 2). China exported 180 000 t of fishery products valued at US$ 600 million in 1986, and 227 000 t valued at US$ 720 million in 1987.
Japan is the largest fish importer in the world. In 1982 it imported some US$4 billion worth of fish products. In 1987 imports of fishery products had, for the first time, exceeded 2 million tons; this is over a quarter of fishery product supplies in the country and represents over 30% of total global fishery product imports. Shrimp was the major import item accounting for some 30% in terms of value.
Hong Kong is another large fish importer, mainly of freshwater fish (of which it buys more than 80% of what it consumes domestically), crustaceans, and molluscs, from Southeast Asia, and even carp fry from China.
Brunei imports about 63% of its domestic fish consumption mainly in the form of fresh marine finfishes, shrimps, and prawns. In 1984 about 55% of the shrimps and prawns consumed in the country were imported fresh from Sarawak and Sabah in East Malaysia. Of this volume more than 88% were marine species and the rest freshwater prawns.
About 28% of the world's people live in East Asia. In 1984 the population of the region was estimated to be 1.3 billion, with roughly 78% of this total being inhabitants of China, the world's most populous country with 1.02 billion people.
The other countries in the region are not as populated. In fact, there is a wide diversity of population in East Asia. Brunei has only 212 000 inhabitants; Macau 304 000; Mongolia 1.8 million; Laos 3.9 million; and Hong Kong 5.3 million. At the other end, DPR Korea has 19.4 million inhabitants; Taiwan PC 18.7 million; the Philippines 55 million; Republic of Korea 40 million; and Viet Nam 57 million. Japan has a large population of 119 million.
Most of these countries have developing economies with the exception of Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Brunei, whose gross national products (GNPs) were US$ 1.04 trillion, US$ 86.2 billion and US$ 4.4 billion, respectively. Brunei's GNP is not high until it is correlated with the country's population size of 221 000 which then makes the per caput GNP equivalent to US$ 22 150 -perhaps the highest in the world.
The gross national products of the other countries in the region vary from US$ 975 million in Macau, US$ 1.6 billion in Mongolia, US$ 3.2 billion in the Philippines, and US$ 9 billion in Viet Nam to US$ 18.1 billion in the DPR Korea, US$ 37.41 billion in Hong Kong, and US$ 270 billion in China.
Upon correlation with the corresponding population estimates for each country, these GNPs translate into per caput GNPs ranging from extremely low values of US$ 150 in Viet Nam, US$ 252 in China, and US$ 537 in the Philippines, to US$ 968 in DPR Korea. US$ 1 000 in Mongolia, US$ 2 092 in the Republic of Korea, US$ 2 750 in Macau, and US$ 2 917 in Taiwan PC. to high values of US$ 6 765 in Hong Kong and US$ 8 836 in Japan. GNP growth rates are generally positive and range from 3.5% in Japan to 8.5% in Viet Nam and 9% in China (see Appendix, Table 3). The Philippines was an exceptional case, with a negative growth rate of -2.2% due to the severe socio-political and economic crises of the country which began in the early 1980s; in the past year the economic outlook has been better, with a 7% growth rate forecast in 1988.
In general a large percentage of the fish produced locally is marketed fresh in the wholesale and retail markets of the region. Consumer preference is largely for fresh fish, with Chinese in Hong Kong and mainland China actually willing to pay a price premium for fish marketed live. It is only in DPR Korea that frozen fish is preferred to fresh fish especially in the urban and rural centres; fresh fish is consumed only in the coastal areas and a small percentage inland.
While most fish produced locally are landed and initially disposed at wholesale fish markets, the marketing systems and distribution channels vary from one country to another. Fish marketing is very well organized in Hong Kong and Japan, and moderately in Taiwan PC, where wholesale marketing is handled by distinct entities such as the Fish Marketing Organization (FMO) in Hong Kong and the various local fishermen's associations or fisheries cooperatives in Taiwan PC and Japan, respectively. In these three countries fish are sorted and sold by auction to wholesalers, retailers, processors, and large consumer institutions.
In Hong Kong a new market-permit scheme has been adopted in 1988 which requires the distribution of entry permits to fish buyers or brokers, without which they cannot participate in the bidding or auction. The greater part of all marine fish at first-hand sale pass through the FMO and is sold at one of seven wholesale markets operated by FMO throughout the country. No such controls exist over the wholesale marketing of freshwater fish, however, and marketing is left to the private sector with Government providing only essential facilities and services required to contain marketing costs, and provide for orderly and hygienic marketing.
In Japan fish landed at local fishermen's markets are handled by fish cooperatives in the locality. The landed fish are then transacted between the production district wholesalers, and marketing dealers, and the processors at the wholesale markets under auction or open tender. At the consumer district wholesale markets transactions are between wholesalers and middle-wholesalers by auction or bidding; the fish are then sold by wholesalers to retailers who in turn sell them to the consumers. The Tokyo Central Wholesale Market handles about 800 000 t of fish products per year, as a result of which wholesale prices determined at the Central Market become the price index of fish products for the whole country.
In Taiwan PC all sales of fish must be made through wholesale markets of the locality where fish is landed, or to which it is transported. The fish market in the production centre is run by local fishermen's associations, and in the consuming centres by a joint central committee organized by local fishermen's associations and local city or township. The auction at fish markets is only attended by retailers, large consumers, and registered wholesalers. A large portion of fish is sold directly to wholesalers, or processing plants in landing or harvest sites.
The other countries of the region are not as well organized in their marketing of fish and fishery products. In Brunei carrier boats operated by wholesalers collect fish from fish traps or from villages and bring them to the centres. Otherwise fishermen themselves deliver their fish either to wholesalers or directly to retail markets in major population centres or to small village markets.
The Philippine traditional system of fish marketing is unique in that trading is done by whisper bidding ("bulungan") which results in the secrecy of bids. Prospective buyers whisper their bids to the broker or middleman who selects his buyer not necessarily on the basis of the highest price offered but also on other factors such as credit-worthiness and goodwill. The Philippine marketing chain is also unique in its decisive use of middlemen in a wide variety of capacities and at various stages of the marketing and distribution network for fishery products.
In China there is no complex marketing system. Marketing and supply cooperatives are the main distribution channels for fish products. Market outlets for fish products are either the large and modern state-owned markets which handle more than 90% of the total amount of fish distributed, or small and not very well maintained free markets or rural trade fairs with poor facilities and which sell negligible amounts of fish.
Marketing and distribution of fish products in China are not regulated by supply and demand forces but are administered through the State Plan. In the small, recently established free markets, however, fish may be sold at prices determined by supply and demand, with premium prices given to producers if fish arrive live at the market, or if they are delivered before five o'clock in the morning.
From the fish landing sites and/or wholesale or retail fish markets, the fish are generally transported by land to the various population/consuming centres. Transport and distribution facilities vary from highly modern to crude or inefficient. In Japan, Taiwan PC, Korea, and Hong Kong, for example, fish distribution makes use of refrigerated vans or trucks which haul the produce through long stretches of well-paved roads. In Japan fish are distributed also by boats or freight trains to all areas, packed in cartons, and frozen or chilled in ice.
In Taiwan PC efficient cold storage equipment and transport administration enable the delivery of fish fresh from the production centres to the consumption centres. The same is true for Republic of Korea where the major fish producing centres are provided with modern cold storage facilities, and frozen fish are supplied to all places by refrigerated vans.
In contrast, port facilities, ice plants, and cold storage facilities in the Philippines are inadequate as there is much to be desired in the handling and distribution of fish for domestic consumption. This is also true in Laos and Viet Nam where transport methods are primitive, marketing facilities are few, and icing is insufficient for long distance transport.
A large percentage of the fish sold in the regional markets is sold fresh, chilled, and ungutted, and the rest processed in a variety of forms. The fishery commodities range from finfishes (marine and freshwater) to crustaceans (shrimps and prawns), molluscs (clams, oysters, abalone, mussels, scallops), and seaweeds (brown, red, and green).
Among the finfishes, the carps (bighead, silver, grass, rohu, common, black and crucian), mullet, red sea bream, sea bass, and groupers are popular in Hong Kong, China, DPR Korea, Laos, and Taiwan PC. In Japan, the most popular cultured finfishes are yellowtail, eel, red sea bream, carp, and "ayu" (a salmonid). Milkfish and tilapia are widely preferred in the Philippines and Taiwan PC, as they are in Viet Nam.
Crustaceans sold in the regional markets are either marine or brackishwater shrimps, mainly penaeids belonging to various species of the genus Penaeus (the most common being monodon, orientalis, penicillatus, merguiensis) and the species Metapenaeus ensis, or are freshwater prawns of the genus Macrobrachium. Consumer preference for penaeid shrimps is wider than for freshwater prawns, with the latter having good markets only in Brunei, Taiwan, and Viet Nam.
Among the molluscs, oysters are perhaps the most popular in the region, with practically all the countries consuming the bulk of their own local production. In RO Korea oysters are canned and exported mainly to the United States; scallops are highly popular in China and Japan, and mussels are widely consumed in China, the Philippines, Korea, and Viet Nam.
A large volume of seaweeds is marketed and consumed fresh or dried in Japan, the most popular being "nori" (laver or Porphyra), "konbu" (kelp or Laminaria), and "wakame" (sea mustard or Undaria). These same species are widely eaten in Korea and China. In the Philippines the most popular seaweed species are Eucheuma cottonii and E. spinosum. Minor species consumed in the Philippines are Sargassum and Gracilaria, the latter also being popular in Viet Nam.
Fish not sold fresh are processed into a wide range of products in the region. The most common methods of processing include salting and drying, canning, pickling or fermentation, and preparation of traditional pastes and sauces (as Viet Nam's "muoc mam" and the Philippines' "bagoong" and "patis").
Smoked milkfish, sometimes deboned before smoking, is a delicacy in the Philippines and is exported to Filipino communities in the United States and the Middle East. Other convenience-food items sold in Philippine markets include fishballs and fish sausages. The latter are also popular in China and Hong Kong.
In Japan there are traditional ways of processing fish which are so integrated into the food life of the people that they are inseparable from the diet. These include "kamaboko", a kneaded fish product; "katsuobushi", dried skipjack; and "shishara", dried sardine and salted fish. Japan is also the world's largest squid/cuttlefish producing and consuming nation. The pattern of utilization of squid in Japan is varied, with squid consumed raw (as "sashimi"), smoked, salted, dried ("surume"), canned, and prepared as "chimi". The Japanese also process seaweed in a variety of forms - powder, flakes, shreds, sticks, or bricks.
In Taiwan PC fish and fishery products are processed using modern equipment and processing methods, such as vacuum-packing under low temperatures and drying. Particular emphasis is now given to canning, and the Taiwan Fisheries Canning Bureau has been established to promote high quality canned fish.
With the exception of Laos and Mongolia, which did not register any export statistics in 1986, all other countries in the region export fish products. While this is so, however, only six countries (China, DPR Korea, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Taiwan PC, and Viet Nam) are net exporters with positive fish commodity trade balances. The rest (Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, and Mongolia) are net fish importers (see Annex I, Table 4).
In the net fish exporting countries the volume of fish and fish products exported constitutes a small percentage of fish compared with their total fish supply. For example, while China's export volume of 180 000 t in 1986 is a high figure it is only about 2% of the country's total fish production. The Philippines' total exports of 200 099 t is only 10.4% of its total fish supply in 1986.
The situation in Hong Kong is unique. While its total catch in 1986 was 213 557 t it exported 396 868 t the same year. At the same time it imported 624 726 t, most of which it re-exported to other countries in the region, notably China and Japan. In 1983, chilled and frozen marine fish and prawns were Hong Kong's most important export items, making up about 53% of total exports and re-exports by weight, and 71% by value.
China is the largest fish exporter in East Asia mainly of fresh/frozen fish (mostly Chinese carps and wuchang fish), penaeid shrimps (mainly Penaeus orientalis, P. penicillatus, and P. merguiensis), and shellfish (clams and ark shell) to Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Southeast Asia, and even the USA. Recently it has been exporting about 50% of its shrimp production, primarily to Japan and secondarily to the USA and Canada.
The Republic of Korea exports a large volume of seaweeds, mainly dried brown and red seaweeds, to Japan. Seaweeds comprise about 8.1% of the total Korean export value of marine products. It has a monopoly of supplying salted sea mustard (Undaria) or "wakame" to Japan, of which it exported 23 000 t valued at US$ 30 million in 1982. It also exports Hizikia fusiforme, a tender edible brown seaweed to Japan. In 1982, RO Korea exported 2 344 t of this seaweed valued at US$ 13 million. RO Korea likewise exports oysters, mostly canned and mainly to the USA, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Canned oysters are the leading marine export product of RO Korea, bringing in US$ 27.5 million in 1982 and comprising about 54% of its canned marine products.
Philippine aquaculture exports include mainly jumbo tiger shrimps (Penaeus monodon) and seaweeds. These, together with frozen tuna, squid/cuttlefish, shellcraft, and minor sea products (e.g. jellyfish and shark fin) comprised 101 453 t valued at approximately US$ 243 million. Of this volume, shrimps constituted some 11 350 t valued at about US$ 105 million, or roughly 43% of total export earnings from fish and fishery products. About 86% of the Philippines' total shrimp export is shipped to Japan, and the rest to the USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Europe. About 96% of the shrimps are exported frozen/chilled, and the balance prepared or preserved.
Cultured milkfish in the Philippines is slowly gaining export markets abroad. The quantity exported has tripled since 1980 and reached 1 863 t valued at about US$ 4.4 million in 1986. Exports include mainly fresh-frozen/ chilled milkfish, and small quantites in preserved form (dried, salted, cooked in brine, smoked, and cooked sardine-style). Over 80% is exported to the USA, and the rest to Filipino communities in the Middle East and Canada.
Seaweeds are another major export item of the Philippines. About 70 to 80% of the total seaweed production is exported in a dried form, and 20 to 30% is processed into semi-refined products. Major importers of Philippine seaweed (mainly of the genus Eucheuma) are Denmark, France, Spain, USA, RO Korea. Japan, Argentina, Taiwan PC. and China. In 1986 raw Eucheuma material exports were about 21 186 t with an estimated value of US$ 8.8 million.
Taiwan PC is the largest exporter of shrimp to Japan, supplying some 50 000 t or 20% of the Japanese shrimp imports in 1987. It is also a large supplier of eels to the Japanese market, providing more than one-third of the Japanese consumption of this commodity. In addition to its shrimp exports Taiwan PC is exporting increasing volumes of formulated shrimp feeds to the different shrimp-producing countries of the region, notably the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Its commercial fish feeds have successfully penetrated and gained a large share of the local feed markets in these countries. Taiwan PC also exports farm equipment and supplies to its Asian neighbours, such as paddlewheels and other aerators, pumps, technical instruments (e.g. refractometers, DO/pH meters), and feed mills, among others.
In the large exporting countries the governments provide investment incentives to export producers to encourage production. In the Philippines, for example, export producers enjoy the following privileges: tax credit equivalent on sales, reduced income tax, exemption from sales tax, additional deduction of 1% from taxable income for using new brand names, tax and duty-free importation of capital equipment, deduction of 10% that a registered export trader may pass on to a registered export producer.
The principal marketing information service in Asia (and the Pacific) is INFOFISH, although it does not differentiate aquaculture products as yet. INFOFISH assists the fishing industry and governments in the region by establishing contacts between buyers and sellers of fish products, and providing technical information and advice on post-harvest aspects of fisheries, such as handling, processing, equipment selection, and quality assurance. INFOFISH is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and its working language is English.
INFOFISH is one of four regional services (in Africa, Arab Countries, Latin America, in addition). This network of services produces a fortnightly news bulletin, called "Trade News", in four languages. This deals with prices, cold storage holdings, short-term market trends, and business opportunities. The network also publishes a two monthly magazine called "INFOFISH International" (incorporating Marketing Digest) in English, which contains articles of market analysis, new products, processing, packaging, equipment, and other aspects of fisheries, including aquaculture, with summaries in all four languages. Again, as yet, little information is relevant to aquaculture in the region.
A fifth member of the service is the FAO computerized system of fish marketing called "GLOBEFISH". This database stores original information collected by INFOFISH and the other regional services on such things as production and trade statistics, price series, the supply and demand situation, information on aquaculture, investment, joint ventures, and general economic data relevant to fisheries. Specific searches are made on request. FAO also produces "Globefish Highlights", which is a quarterly analysis of medium trends. It is based on the information in the databank and is distributed as a supplement to the "Trade News" (above) in four languages.
Annual fishery statistics are also stored on an FAO database called FISHDAB. As yet aquaculture statistics are not separated.
The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, which is based in Thailand, produces a Newsletter. This often carries feature articles on marketing of aquaculture products, and processing and post-harvest technology. It also produces articles for the consumer on fish and fisheries products.
Japan has a highly efficient network of information collection and dissemination not like any other in the region. The Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO), for example, has all essential trade data stored in its computer database and linked to the Ministry of Finance and other sources of market/trade information. JETRO publishes market reports which are disseminated to its offices outside Japan. This trade information only becomes available in other countries after several weeks. The Japan Marine Products Importer Association produces a monthly leaflet with import data by country and by product.
In the Philippines there are local publications which provide information on fish marketing in particular (such as the "Marketing Review" published by the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, PFDA), and on aquaculture and fisheries in general; an example of the latter is "Aquaculture Watch", a monthly newsletter which caters specifically to the aquaculture sector and gives up-to-date information on local and international developments in aquaculture. It includes monthly reviews of fish and shrimp prices in major Philippine markets condensed from the Agriculture Marketing News Service of the Philippine Bureau of Agricultural Statistics. In addition there are local magazines for agriculture in general but which feature articles on trade and marketing, and processing and post-harvest handling of aquaculture commodities; examples are "Mr. and Ms. Agribusiness Weekly", which has a wide national readership, and "Greenfields", a magazine which caters to the food production sector.
Technical articles on fish marketing are published in regional journals or excerpted in annual reports of government agencies; for example, in the annual reports of PFDA, the national agency tasked with the supervision and coordination of all fisheries marketing activities, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). The Bureau of Export Trade Promotion has a documentation centre which contains publications relevant to trade in aquaculture and information for exporters.
The most important technical assistance project in the sub-sector in the region is INFOFISH - a marketing information and advisory service specializing in Asian and Pacific fisheries. INFOFISH is part of a network of marketing services established by FAO in four regions (see 1.6). It was financed at its inception by the Government of Norway for a three year period. It is now partly financed by the Government of Norway, by income from its services and publications, and by contributions from its member countries. Malaysia, the host country, provides office facilities and support staff. Although aquaculture information is not separated as yet INFOFISH serves the sector directly, and its publications contain many useful articles on marketing aquaculture products.
Other externally-funded regional projects which indirectly serve the aquaculture sub-sector include the Regional Fish Market Studies conducted jointly by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the FAO/UNDP South China Sea Programme on important fishery commodities like shrimp and tuna, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Post-Harvest Technology Project assisted by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Other projects have been implemented on a national level with external funding and with emphasis on fish post-harvest handling, processing and preservation, and cold storage. For example, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided funds for the formulation of a master plan for the establishment of a nationwide ice plant and cold storage network in the Philippines, and for research and development on processing technology for marine products in China. The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada provided assistance for testing improved processing for drying, handling, packaging, and storage of dried fish in the Philippines. The Australian Development Bank (ADAB) and ASEAN funded a fish handling project in the Philippines, and BFAR received grants from the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for two small fish preservation projects in 1979 and 1980.
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) sponsored study tours on post-harvest handling, marketing, and consumption of aquaculture products in China for senior fisheries officials from Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, in collaboration with Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC), Agence pour la Coopération Technique, Industrialle et Economique (ACTIM), and Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER); and of UK fish-product development for senior fisheries officials from China. The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) provided a technical assistance grant to Viet Nam for the provision of services and procurement of equipment for fish processing plants and cold storage facilities; and the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) supported research and development work on fish processing and preservation methods at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UPV), College of Fisheries.