e-book release

Dried Fish Matters
Exploring the Social Economy of Dried Fish

Edited by Eric Thrift, Madu Galappaththi, Raktima Ghosh,
Derek S. Johnson, Wae Win Khaing, Mahfuzar Rahman,
and Ratana Chuenpagdee

Dried fish accounts for one-quarter to one-third of all fish consumed in South and Southeast Asia. Often produced simply by placing fish on the ground to dry in the sun, fish may also be processed through a combination of several other preservation technologies – salting, fermenting, brining, smoking, and pickling – using racks, ovens, clay pots, or other equipment. This book explores dried fish in the broadest possible sense, as encompassing any fish product that is neither fresh nor frozen. The main feature of these products is their portability: without the need for a cold chain, the food becomes less expensive to store and transport, and therefore more accessible to consumers in remote or less affluent places. The present volume is an outcome of the Dried Fish Matters Partnership, a research initiative funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Including more than 20 member organizations, this partnership is driven by researchers and students located in Canada, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia. The overall goal of Dried Fish Matters has been to study the contribution of dried fish to the food and nutrition security and livelihoods of the poor, and to examine how production, exchange and consumption of dried fish may be improved to enhance the well-being of marginalized groups and actors in the dried fish economy. The research outputs of this partnership have included reports and working papers, journal articles, conference presentations, and graduate student theses (see https://driedfishmatters.org/pub/publications.html).

Eric Thrift

University of Winnipeg, Canada

‘Dried Fish Matters: Exploring the Social economy of Dried Fish’is the first book to provide a systematic reflection on the social economy of dried fish. The volume is methodologically and conceptually innovative as is demonstrated by its final section that reflects on the process of knowledge co-production in making of the book and in the larger project, ‘Dried Fish Matters: Mapping the social Economy of dried fish in South and Southeast Asia for enhanced wellbeing and nutrition’ (DFM). DFM is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, headquartered at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, led by Professor Derek Johnson, in collaboration with over 50 researchers and practitioners from more than 20 institutions and organizations in South and Southeast Asia. The focus of the project on dried fish value chain makes it stand out from other work that we have seen, which is mostly related to fisheries and fishing communities, but not about fish processing and trading, or the people involved in the post-harvest. Even though we are interested in fish as food, and recognize its nutritious value, we have not paid sufficient attention to the fact that fish are not always consumed fresh, and that the social economy of dried fish is vastly different from those of other products.

Ratana Chuenpagdee

TBTI Global

The book is available for free, as an e-book in two sizes: smaller (45MB) and larger (325MB) file.
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TBTI Global Book Series

This publication series aims to highlight why we need to pay close attention to small-scale fisheries. The series will be of use to anyone interested in learning more about small-scale fisheries, especially about their important contribution to livelihoods, well-being, poverty alleviation and food security, as well as to those who are keen to help raise profile of small-scale fisheries in the policy realm.

How to cite

Thrift, E., Galappaththi, M., Ghosh, R., Johnson, D. S., Khaing, W. W., Rahman, M., and Chuenpagdee, R. (Eds.). 2023. Dried Fish Matters Exploring the Social Economy of Dried Fish. TBTI Global Publication Series. St. John’s, Canada.