Food Quality Perspectives in African Fish Products: Practices, Challenges and Prospects
Lokuruka, Michael N. I.
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A fishery value chain includes the handling, processing, marketing and sales of fishery products to consumers; in the African context, the major types of fishes harvested from the waters of the Continent shelf and which feature in the fishery value chain include: cods, herrings, basses, redfishes, hakes, Jacks, mullets and saurines (FAO, 1998). The oceans, lakes and rivers are still the most important source of fishery products for Africa’s fishing nations. Besides significant fish harvest from natural water courses, aquaculture is becoming an increasingly important fish production activity. Unlike other parts of the world, the African inland aquaculture industry does not largely culture prawns, cuttlefish, snails, lobster and other shellfish. However, wherebasket or cage farming is practiced in inshore coastal areas, crustaceans and shellfish are farmed on a small scale to cater for touristsand resident foreigners. However, farming molluscs and crustaceans has the potential for development into a prosperous commercial activity. Informal markets for the sale of fish are just as important and widely spread in Africa as they are in Asia. The preference for informal markets for fish supply is premised on the low-cost of the foods available at the markets, the extensive spread of markets and the availability of large amounts of similar and affordable commodities