G18 Preserving fish by drying

Income generationFood SecurityFood Processing
  • Drying is a good way of preserving fish that cannot be eaten or sold fresh. Larger fish should be split to remove the guts and large bones and then washed in fresh water before being dried. Fish should be dried on racks above the ground. A tent drier would help protect the fish from flies. Oily fish do not dry well.
  • If the sun is very hot, it is important not to let the fish get too hard on the first day. It may help to begin drying fish in the shade for the first day.
  • Place the fish in boxes overnight after the first day.
  • When the fish are thoroughly dried, store them in tins, cloth sacks or plastic bags. Check them regularly for signs of mould.


  • Discuss the present methods used to preserve fish. Do they include drying?
  • How might dried fish be used in cooking?
  • Would there be a demand for good dried fish in the local market?
  • If fish is available and drying is not used yet, try it out. What are the results?
  • If fish that is not fully dried is kept in plastic bags, it may encourage mould. Only use plastic bags for fully dried fish.