Food Loss and Waste in Fish Value Chains
©FAO/Ansen Ward
  • Supportive Policy Environment
  • Application of Appropriate Technology
  • Skills and Knowledge
  • Services and Infrastructure
  • Regulatory Environment
  • Social and Gender Equity
  • Markets

Markets for Landing Sites in Small-Scale Fisheries

Improving the links between fishers and buyers and improving market access will facilitate the movement of fish through fish landing sites, and help fishers respond to demand and buyer requirements thus reducing unnecessary delays that may lead to spoilage and waste.

The Use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)

The Use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)

Examples of how information and communications technology (ICT) can benefit market access and hence contribute to maintain quality and reducing waste include:

  • Satellite communications enables vessels to remain in contact with its owners. Information on catch information and operations is relayed directly to logistics centres and owners when the catch is landed.
  • Information technology on board vessels. As the catch is caught, it is boxed up and labelled, using bar code technologies that identifies each box with a unique coding, which remains with it throughout the supply chain. The coded-identifier links to information on: type/fish species and quality of catch; when the fish was caught/landed time and date; who caught it, etc.
  • Information technology on shore. Once in port, the bar codes are scanned as each box is unloaded to verify the time of arrival and in some cases as a cross-reference to information that may already have been transmitted while the ship was still at sea.
  • Mobile communications. The information from the scanned bar codes can either be held locally on computer or transmitted by hand held scanners to a central control office.
  • Information technology in the supply chain. The integration of IT systems offers comprehensive stock tracking along the supply chain. This adds value to the catch once it arrives at the end customer/supermarket. The information that accompanies the stock allows both quality and health and safety standards to be maintained.

ICT in Practice: Brittany

ICT in Practice: Brittany

To date the use of ICT for supporting market and supply chain activities has been under-exploited and consequently it is difficult to assess how it may have impacted or driven change for individual members. However, the Association de Ligneurs de la Pointe de Bretagne (ALPB) has stressed the importance of this issue to its members and has identified its adoption as a strategic near-term objective. It believes ICT will impact on the core business of the line fishermen by:

  • Improving efficiency in product trading by exposure to a broader marketplace
  • Reducing marketing cost

The positive approach that Brittany’s sea bass fishers are taking regarding ICT has originated from the ALPB. The objective has been to promote the fish they catch and the methods used to reassure customers of product quality. This strategic marketing has been very effective, and the price of line-caught sea bass can be double that of trawler or net caught fish. For the long-term sustainability of this approach, it will be important that this price differential remains steady, since there is a high investment for the vessels and equipment required to deliver it.

ICT in Practice: Kenya

ICT in Practice: Kenya

In Kenya, an Enhanced Fish Market Information Service (EFMIS), using ICT based on mobile phone use was piloted. The objective was to enhance fish trade and incomes for fisher community through improved access to market information. Data from fish landing sites and inland urban markets is continuously relayed to a central database where it is appropriately packaged into a format that users can access in real time by sending query through mobile phone SMS.

Auctions for Buying and Selling

Auctions for Buying and Selling

Auction systems are considered to be the best method to create better transparency in fish trading as they reflect the real cost and price of fish supply and demand. Open bidding allows the market to determine the real value of the fish. In turn, it encourages fishers to act according to market signals, to only catch what the market wants and to reduce waste.

Auctions in Practice: Vietnam

Auctions in Practice: Vietnam

In relation to a fish landing site in Vietnam where auction systems were not in use, it was proposed that an auction system should be introduced gradually as an additional option to the existing selling systems instead of replacing it. The following steps are recommended for introducing a fish auction system:

  • Organize constructive and extensive dialogues with all stakeholders to discuss and gather feedback from them on the possible implementation of a fish auction system
  • Establish principles or rules for the operation of the auction
  • Conduct an awareness raising campaign for stakeholders and particularly to fishers and fish traders and finalize the rules based on the feedback from stakeholders
  • Draw up detailed operation procedures and record keeping for the auction
  • Provide training for personnel who will oversee the auction
  • Organize a study visit for auction organizer (auctioneer) and selective representatives from stakeholders to a fish auction site in neighbouring countries such as Indonesia
  • Conduct a trial run period to check whether the developed system works and adjust if necessary
  • Conduct a pilot project for the implementation of the auction based on the revised system developed during the trial
  • It is recommended that the pilot project should be done during peak season in the summer when fish price is usually under pressure
  • Full scale implementation of the auction system

After landing, the catch is transferred into the auction area where it is forbidden to handle the fish. Fish will be displayed only using plastic boxes. In this area most of the containers will accommodate only inorganic residues. A few fish waste containers could be located for the occurrence of any damage fish. Keep the floor clean by hosing down periodically.

Key Publications

Study on the Establishment of a Fish Auction System in Hue Vietnam

This study sought to review the current fish trading system and provide a framework for the possible establishment of a fish auction system in Thuan An fishing port, Thua Thien Hue province, Viet Nam.

The Impact of ICT on Europe's Fishing Industry: A Case Study Approach

This report presents the key issues facing the fishing industry today, based on a series of case studies that assessed the role of ICT as a driver of change in the fishing industry.

Using ICT for Fish Marketing: The EFMIS Model in Kenya

This project seeks to enhance fish trade through improved access to market information. This system continuously relays data from landing sites and urban markets to a database that can be accessed via SMS.

More Resources

More Resources

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