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How to Preserve Fish for Home or Commercial use

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How to preserve fish

Overfishing is a real problem if marine ecosystem is to be preserved. A good solution how to preserve fish for home or commercial use. Fresh fish is highly perishable and requires adequate processing to remain edible.

Methods used in fish preservation includes cold treatment, heat, drying, dehydration or application of salt.

Preservation Methods

  • Cold treatment
  • Heat
  • Drying
  • Dehydration
  • Salting
How to preserve fish

Types of Fish

Almost every type of fish is edible if properly handled or processes. Common fish eaten are mackerel, ladyfish, tilapia and catfish.

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How to Preserve Fish

There are 4 ways fish dealers preserve their stock. The ways to preserve fish include freezing, salting and drying. Others use of smokers to smoke, grilling or sun drying.

  1. Freezing
  2. Salting and drying
  3. Smoking
  4. Grilling and drying

Types of Equipment for Fish Preservation

There are different types of equipment used in the preservation process. Common equipment are industrial smokers or grills. Others are mesh nets, refrigerators, freezers, cold room.

  • Industrial smokers
  • Grills
  • Mesh nets
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Cold room

Smoking Fish

Smoking fish is an ancient technique used in the preservation of fish. It effectively extends the fish from one to two months depending on the length of smoking and type of fish.

The purpose of smoking is to reduce moisture content for longer shelf-life. Smoked fish are easier to handle, safer storage, transporting. Smoking technique includes cutting up larger fish and placing on smoking tray.

Then place moisture rich fish lower and closer to heat source, drier fish on upper tray. Equipment used is either locally fabricated or imported smoker.

Grilling and Drying

Grilling the fish is another common technique used by fish merchants. However the fish after grilling is dried for some days. Duration of drying range from three to five days and the dry fish shelf life is 2-3 months.


To keep the freshness of live fish freezing is very effective. There are many ways to freeze fish however the most common is the use of freezer units. Others include cold room, ice box, refrigerator etc.

To remain viable the fish should remain in froze state without losing cold temperature.

Salting and Drying

Application of salt on fish has been used for centuries. The fish is first cleaned then salted and dried in full sun for 3 days. Salted and dried fish will last 2 months before it starts to depreciate. 

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