International Journal of
Fisheries and Aquaculture

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Fish. Aquac.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9839
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJFA
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 233

Full Length Research Paper

Physical losses of fish along the value chain in Zambia: A case study of Barotse Floodplain

Kefi A. S.
  • Kefi A. S.
  • Department of Fisheries, P. O. Box 350100, Chilanga, Zambia.
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Cole S. M.
  • Cole S. M.
  • World Fish, Unit D, Suite No.2, Counting House Square, Thabo Mbeki Road, Lusaka, Zambia.
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Kaminski A. M.
  • Kaminski A. M.
  • World Fish, Unit D, Suite No.2, Counting House Square, Thabo Mbeki Road, Lusaka, Zambia.
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Ward A.
  • Ward A.
  • Independent Consultant, 1 Coes Cottages, Beaneys Lane, Shottenden, Kent, CT4 8JA, United Kingdom.
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Mkandawire N. L.
  • Mkandawire N. L.
  • Department of Food Science and Technology University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.
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  •  Received: 02 July 2017
  •  Accepted: 29 August 2017
  •  Published: 30 November 2017


The study was conducted in three districts of Western Province of Zambia namely; Mongu, Nalolo and Senanga that lie along the Zambezi River in the Barotse Floodplain. The study employed two main data tools aimed at understanding the extent of post-harvest losses in the fishing, processing and trading nodes in the fish value chain study sites. The tools were the Exploratory Fish Loss Assessment Method (EFLAM) study and a Quantitative Loss Assessment Method (QLAM) survey. The study found that physical fish losses occur at three nodes in the value chain and differ significantly (P < 0.05) between the nodes. On average, the processors lose the largest volume of fish (7.42%) followed by the fish traders (2.9%). The fishers experience the least physical losses at 2% although, this is not significantly different (P > 0.05) from the fish lost at trading node. The major cause of physical loss was found to be breakages at processing and trading nodes. There is need to introduce improved processing technologies that can reduce breakages. Furthermore, economic and nutrient losses should also be profiled to fully understand the total losses that occur within the Barotse Floodplain fish value chain.

Key words: Fish, physical losses, fishing, processing, trading.