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close this bookHandling, Processing and Marketing of Fish in Bangladesh - Part 1 (NRI)
close this folderSection 4: The shrimp industry
View the document4.1 Trade flows and intermediaries
View the document4.2 Marketing infrastructure
View the document4.3 Handling and processing
View the document4.4 Packaging
View the document4.5 Losses
View the document4.6 Quality control

4.1 Trade flows and intermediaries

4.1.1 Shrimp caught by artisanal methods or by farming

Shrimp caught at sea by trawlers constitutes less than 20% of Bangladesh's total catch. Most shrimp is caught by artisanal methods or is produced by farming, and is landed at a large number of widely scattered landing places and farm sites. The quantities caught by individual fishermen are often very small.

From the landing places, shrimp is transported to collection centres and held there until a sufficient quantity is available. It is then transported by water, road or rail to processing plants which are concentrated in and around Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Khulna and Satkira. The shrimp is often not iced until it reaches the collection centres, but may be re-iced before reaching the processing plants, depending upon the time required for shipment. This varies greatly, but may be up to 60 hours.

Processing plants clean, process, grade, freeze and pack the shrimp which is then exported via Chittagong or Chalna. Shrimp processed in Khulna has to be shipped down the rivers in small reefer vessels to Chalna to be loaded into cargo vessels Iying offshore. The lack of a deep-water port at Khulna is a disadvantage to processors in that city, but their proximity to the sources of production places them at an advantage to processors in Chittagong. Indeed the increasing number of processing plants at Khulna has deprived Chittagong packers of much raw material which they formerly obtained from the Khulna area.

Plants buy most of their material through agents, who may in turn buy from subagents or traders dealing directly with the fishermen and farmers. Agents may finance sub-agents and may also give credit to the processing plants, receiving payment only after the processor has shipped to his overseas customer. The shrimp is usually decapitated before reaching the plant and grading is likely to be carried out each time the shrimp is sold, with increasing precision at each stage. Industry sources estimate that the fisherman or farmer receives 75-80% of the price paid by the processor. Except in some more remote areas, fishermen and farmers are thought to be well informed about prices the plants are paying (Aquatic Farms Ltd., 1986).

4.1.2 Shrimp from trawls

Almost all shrimp caught at sea is processed on board the trawlers and transferred directly to reefer vessels for export to Japan. Most of the shrimp trawling companies operate joint ventures with their Japanese customers and processing is carried out under Japanese supervision.