Small-scale marine fishing in Benin, West Africa: a comprehensive assessment of the processed fish value chain

Rodrigue Castro Gbedomon*, Kolawolé Valère Salako, Setondé Constant Gnansounou, Kisito Gandji, Pierre Failler, Achille Ephrem Assogbadjo, Romain Glèlè Kakaï

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The processed marine fish sector represents an important component of small-scale marine fisheries in Benin. It plays a crucial role in terms of seafood provision and job creation in the country. However, its socioeconomic performance has been limitedly explored since few investigations have been dedicated to the sector over the past decades. This study investigated the value chain of processed marine fish (VC-PF), focusing on its functional, economic, social, and environmental dimensions. Data was collected using a mixed method approach via in-depth interviews ,(n = 35), quantitative surveys (n = 121), and direct observations. Results evidenced four nodes (fishing, processing, trading, and consumption) along the VC-PF. Adult and local men dominantly operated the fishing node, while the processing node was entirely handled by adult and local women. The trading node had a higher representation of women and a significant proportion of migrants. On average, 2321.4 kg of fish belonging to 21 species is processed annually in the sector, which generates an annual added value of 8217,756 €, corresponding to 3.67% of the GDP of the total fishery sector in Benin. Although the VC-PF's contribution to Benin's economic growth is still marginal, it was observed to be profitable and resilient. Unfortunately, the VC-PF has a negation protection (NPC<1), indicating limited or no protection for the domestic VC-PF against regional and international competition. Policy actions such as actors’ engagement, the promotion of environmentally friendly fishing and subsidised fishing and processing equipment provision are vital to sustain the sector.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106032
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Policy
Early online date7 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • Benin
  • Marine Fisheries
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Sustainability
  • Value Chain

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