Pertes et gaspillages de nourriture dans les chaînes de valeur de la pêche et de l’aquaculture
©FAO/Ansen Ward


Transport is an integral part of most, if not all, fish value chains. Transport can occur at many different stages between harvesting and final consumption. A wide range of transport means are used. Fish and fish products are transported on foot, by bicycle, canoe, motorcycle, rail, pick-up truck, boat, lorry, refrigerated truck, on ships in reefer containers, and by air. Live fish, fresh fish, frozen fish, dried, smoked, canned and all other types of product experience some form of transportation. Transport times and distances may be short (e.g. several hours) or long (e.g. several weeks).

The mode of transport used in a given situation is influenced by, among other things: the product type and value, the location of the market, food safety requirements and other standards to be met, and the prevailing socio-economic conditions and transport infrastructure and services available.

Traditionally processed fish products are carried in baskets as head loads or on bicycles across national borders, while frozen blue fin tuna is flown by chartered air craft.

Although there is a diverse range of transport scenarios, key causes of food loss and waste (FLW) include:

  • delays due to mechanical breakdown
  • poor weather conditions causing quality deterioration
  • lack of ice or lack of cold chain during transport
  • physical damage due to poor handling and rough transport, such as poor road conditions
  • accidents (e.g. boat capsize)
  • rain soaking traditionally processed products
  • inadequate water quality or oxygen levels during live fish transport

Loss Scenarios

Live Fish & Shellfish Transport

Live fish transport is used to transfer aquaculture products, high value fin-fish from wild capture fisheries, crustaceans and molluscs from production holding facility to retailer or restaurant.   

Refrigerated Road Transport

Refrigerated road transport an essential link in cold chains that aims to supply the consumer with safe, high-quality fish and fish products.