Quality losses in small-scale fisheries in Indonesia and Madagascar

We were hired by Blue Ventures, an award winning marine conservation NGO to evaluate post-harvest quality losses in five small-scale fisheries in the Indo-Pacific area: the reef octopus, mud crab and tuna fisheries in Indonesia, and the reef octopus and squid fisheries in Madagascar. The final aim of this project was to identify interventions able to curb quality losses at the first stages of the supply chain, thus ultimately improving the livelihoods of local fishing communities.

Firstly, we undertook an in-depth desktop-based review of these fisheries, identifying species and volumes landed, fishing methods, main fishing areas, key stakeholders, etc. A value chain analysis (VCA) was later performed for each fishery to identify post-harvest quality losses at each step of the supply chain: at the moment of the catch, onboard the fishing vessels, at the landing site, during transport and at the processing plant.

Based on the study findings, a series of potential interventions were recommended to improve efficiency and limit the quality losses in the supply chain of these fisheries, while also taking into account the social and ecological implications. Finally, a matrix of interventions was created, rating them from low cost or easy implementation, to high cost or difficult to implement; and estimating the potential impact of their implementation on the livelihood of the fishers, in order to prioritize the lower cost-higher impact activities. The suggested interventions ranged from basic activities, such as providing training in best handling practices; to considerable investments at the local infrastructure level, such as the creation of a series of mid-point storage facilities.

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