Understanding dried fish value chain and marketing strategy during COVID-19 pandemic: a case study from Thailand

Almine, Nova (2023) Understanding dried fish value chain and marketing strategy during COVID-19 pandemic: a case study from Thailand. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (2MB)


Dried fish contribute to the food and nutrition security of many people globally, especially in Asia and Africa. It also signifies cultural identity, tied to shared histories, tastes, and practices. Dried fish production and marketing provide livelihoods and income to small-scale fishers and their families, as well as women in coastal communities, many of whom are involved in the processing of dried fish products. The production of dried fish helps minimize fish losses and enhances the post-harvest value chain. Little is known, however, about the importance of dried fish, and the challenges facing actors in the dried fish value chain. The thesis is based on a scoping study of the dried fish value chain conducted in Thailand, as part of the Dried Fish Matters project, funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. As one of the world’s major seafood producers and exporters, Thailand offers an interesting case study, especially in terms of governance, given the new fishing regulations, enacted in response to the ‘yellow card’ warning issued by the European Union to address issues and compliance with international standards to combat illegal fishing. The overall goal of the study was to understand the importance of the dried fish value chain and its governance, as well as the issues and opportunities related to access to resources and markets, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has disrupted the flow of fish and seafood products in Thailand. At the same time, it has opened opportunities for dried fish vendors and processors through emerging e-commerce – an online marketing and trade. E-commerce has helped address some of the fish value chain challenges and provided livelihood, income and access to affordable food source during the COVID-19 restriction. Dried fish production can be done in a large-scale, modernized factory or in a traditional, small-scale operation. Raw materials also come from both large-scale and small-scale fisheries. For the purpose of this study, the focus is on small-scale fisheries and rudimentary production of four dried fish products, i.e. dried anchovies, dried squid, dried shrimp, and ‘kapi’, a paste made from Acetes shrimp, commonly used in Thai cooking. These products are consumed mostly in Thailand, but a good proportion of dried anchovies is also destined for the export markets. Some dried fish producers buy raw materials from fishers, while others have their own boat. Local women are often hired to work on turning raw materials into dried products, which mostly involves boiling and sun-drying. Dried fish products are sold in local markets, as well as transported to city centers for further packaging and value-added process. Concerns about raw materials for dried fish production are related to overfishing and regulations. The Royal Ordinance on Fisheries aims to address both problems, restricting the use of certain fishing gears, which are considered unsustainable. For instance, the use of light luring devices in anchovy fisheries has been banned, along with push netting due to bycatch concerns and habitat destruction issues. There is an ongoing debate, however, about the suitability of the regulations, especially since some of them affect small-scale fisheries more than large-scale fisheries. More research is required to investigate the impact of the new regulations on small-scale fisheries and on fisheries sustainability, broadly speaking. On a whole, dried fish play a key role in Thai society, as part of the staple food and as main source of income for the communities. Yet, there is still a need to raise awareness about the nutritional value of dried fish and promote its consumption, which can be done through E-commerce. The research findings show, however, that dried fish online vendors face several challenges including decreased income, the uncertainty of product availability, transportation, and competition from supermarkets. Understanding the dried fish value chain is important given its potential contribution to food and nutrition security, livelihoods, and income, especially to small-scale fishers and coastal communities.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/16188
Item ID: 16188
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 134-165)
Keywords: dried fish, small-scale fisheries, Thailand, online marketing, fisheries governance
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: October 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/RMP5-SJ37
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Dried fish--Thailand; COVID-19 (Disease)--Thailand; Food security--Thailand; Small-scale fisheries--Thailand; Internet marketing--Thailand; Fishery policy--Thailand

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics