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Marketing of Aquaculture Products
The crucial role of consumer acceptance and marketing has been mentioned. It has also been pointed out that a major strongpoint of aquaculture is that production can be market-orientated as opposed to the production-orientated marketing that has to be adopted in capture fisheries. A proper understanding of consumer demand and the consumers’ attitudes and behaviour is a major asset in planning a viable aquaculture production programme. No doubt there are instances of production programmes that started without any such basic information and eventually stumbled into some success, as with tilapia in some areas, but there are many others that have experienced considerable marketing problems as in the case of silver carp, milkfish and mussels in certain countries. Chaston (1983) considered research and investment on the giant fresh-water prawn (Macrobrachium) as an example of efforts expended without adequate understanding of consumers’ needs.
The systems and technologies of farming to be adopted will also be governed by the nature of the markets. Highly intensive systems of production which involve high production costs may be possible in certain situations only if there is a lucrative export market. If the product has to be sold in the domestic market, the possibility of using less expensive systems of production may have to be considered. It is again quite obvious that the quality and size at harvest, as well as the methods of processing and presentation, depend very much on the market.
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