Traditional methods of fish smoking and drying in reducing loss to spoilage in selected fishing communities of Anambra State, Nigeria
The preservation and processing of fish by smoking / drying are methods used by artisanal fishermen to avoid spoilage of their catches. In Anambra State, these methods of fish handling were investigated in four fishing communities (Isiokwe Otu, Nmiata Anam, Iyi Ora and Enugu Otu) out of about 17 fishing communities in Anambra West Local Government Area of the State. Average fish production in the communities ranged between 20kg/day to 50kg/day per boat, producing an income of between N6,000.00 to N15,000 per day. The preference of the consumers of these catches tilted towards preferring a properly-smoked product in all seasons especially during the rainy season. Two drying methods - sun drying with or without salting and use of natural air (sun-drying) were not highly embraced during the rainy periods as it is for smoking methods. Their average catch (kg/day) was 20 for community A, 30 for community B, 50 for community C and 45 for community D. The estimated losses to spoilage and its implication to fish preservation and availability in the wild are herein discussed.
Key Words: Traditional methods, spoilage, fish loss.