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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2005  |  Volume: 8  |  Issue: 9  |  Page No.: 1303 - 1310

Studies on the Traditional Drying Activities of Commercially Important Marine Fishes of Bangladesh

M.S. Reza, M.A.J. Bapary, K.M. Azimuddin, M. Nurullah and M. Kamal    

Abstract: Studies were conducted to evaluate the present status of traditional drying practices of commercially important marine fishes in the coastal region of Bangladesh. A survey was made on the source of raw materials, handling, transportation, processing and marketing aspects of fish using questionnaires through interviews among the cross section of people involved in fishing, middlemen, wholesalers, retailers and processors in the Kutubdiapara of Cox’s Bazar sadar upazilla, Ghati Bhanga of Moheshkhali upazilla and Shahaparirdip of Teknaf upazilla under Cox’s Bazar district. Survey was also made in the wholesale and retail dried fish markets in Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar area. After harvesting, the small scale fishermen carry their catch to the landing centre in traditional bamboo baskets without using adequate ice and sell it to the pre-selected buyers or middlemen locally called ‘mohajan’. Both quantitative and qualitative losses occur in raw materials due to spoilage. Considerable post harvest losses also occur in fish before and after drying due to insect attack and contamination which amounts to about 10-30% of the total catch. There is also widespread use of insecticides before and after drying to avoid insect infestation. In most cases the fishes which are not sold as fresh in the market are used as raw materials of the dried products. The overall organoleptic qualities of the dried products available in various marketing chains are very poor. There is a long marketing chain for fresh and dried products which include fishermen, purchase commission agents (fresh fish), processor, purchase commission agents (dried fish), wholesaler, retailer and finally the consumer. Due to the involvement of various middlemen in the different marketing chains, the price in each stage of marketing increases and finally the consumers buy the products with a higher price. In all the marketing chains, the dried fish products are marketed without adequate packaging. The dried products contaminated with moulds and fungus is common in the retail and wholesale markets in Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar dried fish markets. Study on the marketing margin and marketing profit of traditional dried fish products reveals that the processors in primary market receive higher marketing profit followed by retailers and wholesalers in consumer market and secondary market, respectively.

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