This investigation provided an overview of the handling practices by individuals involved in the fish trade, consumer perception and quality of fresh carite offered for sale. Landing sites, wholesale and retail markets were visited and face-to-face interviews were conducted with fishermen, wholesalers, retailers and consumers. Microbiological and sensory analyses were performed on whole and gutted fish. All the facilities for handling and trading of fish were grossly under-equipped and in poor hygienic condition. Most consumers viewed whole fish as being 'fresh' and of superior quality compared to eviscerated fish. Fish was of best sensory quality when landed and of worse quality at the retail vendors' stalls. Several recommendations were provided for improvement of quality.