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Fish Smoking in Ghana: A Review

Ghana’s fisheries sector comprises 485 fish species. The fish industry contributes to the nation’s economy annually representing 4.5 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and twelve (12) % contributions to agriculture. There are several fish processing methods in Ghana such as smoking, salting, frying, sun-drying, freezing, and fermentation. Smoking is one of the common ways of preserving fish in large quantities. Wet hot smoking and dry hot smoking are the two forms of fish smoking which consist of three stages of smoking fish namely; cooking stage, drying stage and smoking stage. Predominately, the fish smoking industry is mainly dominated by women and young girls. Fish processing activities are done around and along the coastal waters and river banks. The technologies used in fish smoking in Ghana are improved types of conventional fish smoking ovens, chorkor smokers, oil drums and acceptance of upgraded smoking techniques. Usually, the fish species smoked are catfish, herring, mackerel, anchovy, and tuna. The smoked fish are stored in empty baskets line with brown papers and as well covered with brown papers. Women involved engaged in fish smoking face some challenges such as lack of formal education, unavailability of credits, low capital and prone to respiratory diseases. Also, the smoked fish are prone to microbial hazards and insect pest infestation. Moisture, food nutrient, pH and temperature affect growth in microorganisms in food (smoked fish). Fish smoking plays a vital role in poverty alleviation as women, and young girls depend on fisheries directly and indirectly for their livelihoods. Significantly, fish smoking reduce post-harvest losses. Also, few interventions have shown that fish smoking in Ghana has potential in improving the fisheries sector although there is limited summarized information regarding fish smoking in Ghana. The purpose of this review is to compile relevant information about the nature of fish smoking industry in Ghana.


Sakyi Essien Michael, Jia Cai*, Ampofo-Yeboah Akwasi, Aglago Adele

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