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Marketing of Fisheries Products by Municipal Fishermen
in Panguil Bay, Philippines


Hopkins, M, E. McCoy

Date: 1976

Funding Agency: USAID

Keywords: fisheries, philippines, marketing, international, development

Category: International Funded Research Report

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Marketing practices of municipal fishermen in the
Philippines have received

little study. However, the few
studies which have been conducted have been

useful in formulating nationwide
development plans. Unfortunately, these nationally

oriented programs have not
always met local needs because of problems

peculiar to specific local
areas. In order to provide data for the preparation of

a localized fishery development plan, a baseline survey of
fisheries resources was


The findings reported here present
a description of marketing practices and

problems of municipal
(artisanal) fishermen around Panguil Bay, Mindanao.


Panguil Bay is a 219-square
kilometer body of water surrounded by approximately

8.000 hectares of mangrove
swamps, of which about 5,000 hectares have

been converted into fishponds.
There were 89 coastal barrios (villages) with an

estimated 4,500 municipal
fishermen. The outer portion of the bay was used for

fishing and the inner portion for fishing, gathering shellfish, and catching shrimp.

No commercial vessels (over 3 gross
tons) were registered in the area. Commercial

fishing was prohibited because
of the shallow depth of the bay.

Administratively the area is
divided among three provinces (Lanao del ortc,

Zamboanga del Sur, and Misamis
Occidental) covering 10 municipalities and

two cities. Ozamiz City is the
primary commercial center. Culturally the area

is a mixture of Muslims and
Christians. During the survey, sporadic trouble had

occurred with the resultant
dislocation of inhabitants and disruption of business


During May through August 1975,
249 municipal fishermen were interviewed

regarding marketing practices.
The interviewees came from barrios in all 10

municipalities and 2 cities
adjacent to Panguil Bay. Peace and order conditions

caused the interviewers to
conduct rather hasty interviews in some areas. Data

from the questionnaires were
coded and transferred to punch cards for processing.

The municipal fishermen were
basically living at a subsistence level. However,

lack of alternative employment
opportunities kept the recruitment high. Most of

the fishermen lived along the
coast, at the mouth of rivers, or on the edge of

.nipa swamps. Fishing was done
at night for sales the following morning.

Fishermen reported low catch
volume, which they attributed to dynamite

fishing, poisons, use of illegal
gear, and overcrowding of the fishing area. Fishermen

averaged catching only a few
kilograms per day. Even with the limited

catch, most of the fishermen
sold the entire amount. The fish were usually

marketed within a few hours.
Most were sold on the beach although some were

sold at sea and others were delivered to the dealers. Larger, high
quality fish

were sold to wholesalers  who
shipped  the fish from the area. Smaller fish were

sold to local retailers or
directly to consumers. While the weight of

fish was used in pricing, only
25 percent of the catch was actually weighed at

the time of sale.

Fishermen chose buyers on the
basis of cash needs. Retailers paid immediate

cash. Wholesalers were able to buy
because of suki arrangements, a system

under which the buyer also
represented the lender and the fish were collateral

for the loan. The price paid was
only sufficient to maintain the fishermen at the

subsistence level. Marketing
costs were low although a customary P1.00 (U.S.

$ =P7.40)
per kilogram markup existed between sales to retailers and sales to


Fishermen borrowed for capital
investments and operating (living) expenses.

All lenders except the bank
required the borrower to sell the fish to the lender.

io interest was charged, but
repayment was daily and the lender paid a reduced

price for the fish. Many of the
fishermen did not have ready access to the government’s

Foreshore Fisheries Loan Program.

_ Fishermen
reported low price, lack of transportation, difficulties in receiving

payments, and no market as major
problems. The low price was associated with the
method of financing and with the presence of dynamited fish in the markets.

Fishermen desired governmental
assistance in loans, technical assistance, and

law enforcement to stop illegal
fishing. The fishermen could not foresee an improved

level of living unless these
problems were alleviated.

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