Nile perch meat stays in Egypt – the bladder goes to China – Video

Ownership of the video and the review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the video channel)

I filmed this video on 1st April 2018 during my visit to a relatively large fish market in Cairo (Zaton). I was lucky to be in the market during the processing of this specimen of Nile perch (Lates niloticus) of about 2.5 kg weight. Nile perch in Egypt comes from two main fishery resources; Lake Nasser (Aswan) and Rayaan Depression (Fayoum). In general, Nile perch is considered a luxury freshwater fish that enjoys higher market price than tilapia. The species is appreciated by a category of consumers who are interested in large-size fish with high-quality meat such as Nile perch.

In regard to the swim bladder to fills most of the body cavity, it is frozen and temporarily stored until sold to the trader who visits the fish market periodically and collects the swim bladders from various fish displays in this market and other markets to be shipped to China. This type of business is new and may go back to around five years. The sale price for a weight unit of the bladder is much higher than that for the Nile perch fillets and hence providing additional revenue to fish traders at no additional effort.

The bladders enjoy a high demand in China, where traditional medicine is advanced, whereas the swim bladder is used in the pharmaceutical industry. According to some published articles, the gas bladders may be used in the making of bio-degradable stitches for surgery. Moreover, swim bladders are an ingredient in nutritious soups in China. It may worth mentioning that the trade in Nile perch swim bladders has developed especially in countries sharing Lake Victoria where the Nile perch fishery is significant.


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