Drying mode of fish preservation. Dry fishes

Drying still remains the cheapest and popular mode of fish preservation. Dry fishes are in great demand in the coastal as well as interior areas, within and outside the country and form an important source of protein rich food in various forms. The income from dry fish helps those who are living on the fringes to sustain their livelihood from traditional activities. But the trade has drawn all-round criticism because of the unhygienic conditions, which leads a great damage to the coastal environment. Solar drying is an alternate method which minimizes the limitations of open sun drying, saves time, occupies less area, improves product quality and protects the environment. Drying in solar is different from open sun drying because the solar dryer is an enclosed structure that traps heat inside the drier and make effective use of the heat. It also keeps the fish away from insects, animals and contaminating materials on the ground. This in turn will increase the income of the fisherfolk engaged in fish drying, generate interest among others to take up fish drying activity as fulltime employment and in general improve the living standards of the coastal fisherfolk. In this context, it is very important that concerted efforts should be taken for strengthening the existing livelihood of fisherfolk with alternative livelihood through awareness and trainings. To overcome these factors, government needs to provide infrastructure as well as financial help for curing and drying of fishes. Fishers, processors and traders needs to work in collaborative with researchers to improve the ways they preserve fish to increase its final quality and shelf life of the produce. Adoption of improved production technologies, such as solar fish drying as well as innovative marketing strategies will enable the coastal fisherfolk to obtain better livelihood outcome like better price for final produce and conservation of natural resources, etc. Key Words: Fish drying, Solar drying, Processing, Sustainable livelihood, Environment