Trade of dried fish in India

Photo credit: ICSF

Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)


Trade of dried fish in India


The inserted picture shows women selling dried fish in a typical dried fish market in India. The following is a brief review on fish drying in India.

According to a recent study (2016), only 6% of fish catch in India is used as dry fish. However, dried fish marketing plays an important role in the economy of particular Indian regions (e.g. West Bengal) as well as in whole India especially dried fishes have demand both in domestic market as well as internationally including (Bangladesh and Nepal) whereas Indian dry fish export contributes by about 8% of all form of fish exports. Fish drying is usually seen as the least expensive means of fish preservation.

Fish drying and dried fish marketing is important in employment generation of coastal poor people who are involved in the production chain (fishing and drying) especially those of small-scale operations who can make little profit that helps improving their livelihoods. Traditional fish drying processors usually adopt sun-drying and so depend on the climatic conditions as advanced fish drying chambers are often unavailable.

As listed in a recent survey on fish drying in India, there is 19 species which were used for the production of dry fish, out of which 16 are finfishes and 3 species were shrimp species. These are namely:

Savalai hairtail (Lepturacanthus savala), Drums or croakers (Panna microdon), Smelt-whitings (Sillago sihama), Sulphur goatfish (Upeneus sulphureus), Japanese threadfin bream (Nemipterus japonicas), Indo-Pacific king mackerel (Scomberomorus guttatus), Spotted sickle fish (Drepane punctate), Tardoore (Opisthopterus tardoore), Gold spotted grenadier anchovy (Coilia dussumieri), Ganges river sprat (Corica soborna), Gangetic hairfin anchovy (Satipinna phasa), Dorab wolf-herring (Chirocentrus dorab), Warrior catfish (Arius sp), Gold spot mullet (Liza Persia), Bombay-duck (Harpadon nehereus) and Tongue sole (Cynoglossus sp). Three shrimp species may be dried; Green tiger prawn (Penaeus semisulcatus), Greasy back shrimp (Metapenaeus toluensis) and Speckled shrimp (Metapenaeus monoceros).

Reference: Pijush Payra, Riyanka Maity, Swaraj Maity and Basudev Mandal, 2016. Production and marketing of dry fish through the traditional practices in West Bengal coast: Problems and prospect. International Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Studies 2016; 4(6): 118-123.     



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