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close this bookHandling, Processing and Marketing of Fish in Bangladesh - Part 1 (NRI)
close this folderSection 5: Conclusions
View the document5.1 Problems of the existing system of marketing
View the document5.2 Possible measures to improve the marketing system
View the document5.3 Benefits from the proposed measures
View the documentBibliography

5.1 Problems of the existing system of marketing

The main problems affecting the marketing of fish in Bangladesh are as follows:

(a) The isolation of many fishing communities from their wholesale landing facilities, coupled with poor transport and lack of ice.

(b) Poor physical facilities for marketing of fish (i.e. Ianding centres, wholesale and retail markets).

(c) Widespread ignorance of the factors affecting fish quality and ways of overcoming them.

These problems give rise to substantial losses to the economy of Bangladesh. Quantification of such losses is very difficult without a series of detailed investigations, but the following estimates provide an indication of the order of magnitude of the problem:



Internally consumed:

Quantitative losses

at least 35,200 tonnes

discarded by-catch and

(4.6% of the catch)

dried fish loss

Qualitative losses

US$ 96 million

downgraded fish

Shrimp exports:

Quantitative losses

US$ 2 million

excessive washing

Qualitative losses

US$ 7 million +


It should be noted that the quantitative loss is equivalent to 340 grams per annum per head of population in Bangladesh; elimination of such a loss would allow consumption per head to be raised from the present 7.6 kg per capita to nearly 8.0 kg per capita.

This picture of quantitative and qualitative losses contrasts with the conclusion of a recent ADB report (Aquatic Farms Ltd., 1986) according to which prices vary little with quality and losses are not large. It should however be noted that the growing importance of fish culture will ease post-harvest problems rather than exacerbate them. Cultured fish can be harvested as and when required, avoiding the accumulation of unmarketable gluts, while arrangements for icing and packaging can be planned in advance of harvesting. All this tends to minimise post-harvest losses.

As discussed in Section 3.9, fish marketing is almost exclusively in the hands of the private sector, which is considered efficient compared to alternative systems which might be established. Nevertheless there is scope for increased competition in distribution, particularly at the assembly phase of the marketing chain.