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Direct Research Journals
Vol.4 (2), pp. 28-34, February 2016
ISSN: 2354-4147

Survey to determine current methods for handling and preservation of fresh fish in three Malawi cities
Article Number: DRJA32237331

Original Research Article

M. Mpeketula-Soko1, S.K. Williams2*, A.T. Adesogan2 and G.E. Dahl2

1Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Basic Sciences Department, P.O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.

2Department of Animal Sciences, P.O. Box 110910, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0910, USA.

date Received: February 26, 2015     date Accepted: January 4, 2016     date Published: February 2, 2016


A face-to-face survey with fish traders was conducted, in three selected Malawi city markets that included Lilongwe, Limbe and Blantyre, to determine existing methods used by fish traders to maintain fresh fish quality and preservation, identify existing knowledge gaps in issues related to fresh fish spoilage and preservation, and determine the fish traders’ receptiveness to and perception of antimicrobial ingredients used to extend shelf life and quality of fish. Two major challenges experienced by the fish traders included lack of access to shelf life extension methods (33%) and low selling prices (27%). Fifty-five per cent of the traders used less than 500 g of ice per kg of  fish  for   transportation  and storage of the fish. Responses by 54%, 22% and 16% of the fish traders for number of days before fish spoiled included 8 h, 1 day and 2 days, respectively. Approximately 94% of the respondents had no access to extension services, and 100% had no formal training in food safety, quality control, fish handling and basic personal hygiene. This study revealed the need for food safety programs and training for the fish traders in order to ensure safe and quality fresh fish.

Key Words: Fisheries, Malawi, Preservation Methods, Survey, Tilapia.