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1Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Versova, Mumbai-400061, India

2College of Fisheries, Central Agricultural University, Lembucherra, Tripura (W), India

3Laboratory of Aquaculture & Artemia Reference Center, Ghent University, Belgium

*Corresponding author:, Mobile- +32488191632

An overview of the situation in Versova landing centre regarding handling after


Fish in the hold (box or hold)



Deliver to the middlemen


Cutting Re-loading

Consumer Re-icing



Fig: Process Flow Diagram

In Versova landing centre everyday there is landing of fish and shellfish from here the fishes are going to the local fish market for consumption. But the condition of the landing centre was not clean at all. The water was very contaminated and dirty. There are faeces, plastics, garbage etc. around the area where the fish landing takes place. Fishermen used to dry the low value catch fishes in that place itself in very unhygienic manner. Bombay duck were hanged over the bamboo bars.

  1. Different fishes caught

The composition of fish in the landing centre include shrimp, crabs, squids, ribbonfish, catfish, flatfish, pomfrets, lizardfish, Indian mackerel, carangids, bombayduck, eels, perciformes, tuna etc.

  1. Unloading from fish hold

During unloading of the catch fish fisherfolk use rubber container in which fishes are put and send down from the onboard to the ground. Two to three people are engaged in that operation. They tie the rubber container with rope and swing down to the water.

  1. Washing of the catch

For washing the catch fishermen use the water from the dock which is very dirty and polluted. They dipped the container with fish into that water and shake it 2-3 times to complete the washing procedures. The process was totally unhygienic and undesirable from the quality point of view.

  1. Type of container used for carrying the catch

The containers mostly used for carrying the catch were rubber made or bamboo made. As soon as they unload the catch they put the fishes into these types of container and take it to the auction or selling place. There they transfer to other plastics boxes and do re icing.

  1. Type of ice used

The type of ice used was crushed block ice. The amount of ice was not sufficient at all. Therefore the quality was not maintained upto the marked. The icing process was also not correct; they were just dumping the fishes and pouring some few numbers of ice pieces over it.

  1. Box used for icing

Plastics or PVC boxes are mainly used for icing purposes which are often used for transport to other places.

  1. Fish handlers and sellers

Most of the fish handlers and sellers were found to be women. They will dress or pill the shrimp in the selling place.

  1. Transportation

Use ordinary truck for transport purpose and not shield.

9. Conclusion and Remarks

Since the current practise was not desirable according to the food safety concern, so it will be better to do some management steps in order to improve the current situation of handling and unloading of fish , like-

  • Fish must be unloaded on to pallets or to/in suitable containers.

  • The container must be cleaned with potable water.

  • Unloading area should be kept clean.

  • Washing should be done with clean potable/ clean sea water.

  • Blood with melted ice and dirty slime layer should be removed by washing.

  • Running water is recommended for washing

  • If water used for washing is in a box, tray or any other container, water must be changed frequently.

  • Care should be taken to prevent cross contamination during washing

  • Harbour water is not acceptable for cleaning and washing as the water is highly contaminated.

  • All equipment, containers and pallets should be thoroughly washed using potable / clean sea water.

  • Fish should not be damaged during unloading and delivery by rough handling.

  • Minimum handling will reduce the risk of cross-contamination and physical damage.

  • Ice should be available at the harbour premises.

  • Re-icing must be done as soon as possible according to transportation time using fresh ice.

  • Practice careful handling of fish.

  • Avoid unnecessary handling.

  • Fish should be transported separately from other items (tools, boxes etc.)

  • Keep fish cool during transport shield from direct sunlight.

  • Use clean packaging and vehicles

  • Quick transport, vehicles should leave as soon as they are ready.

Drying of Bombay Duck fish near Sea Beach

Fig. Drying of Bombay Duck fish near Sea Beach

Use of dock water for fish washing

Fig. Use of dock water for fish washing

Icing of fish in Open air in sea beach

Fig. Icing of fish in Open air in sea beach


Seafood — Fish — Crustacea

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