The Effects of Reduced Groundfish Landings....
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GRANT NUMBER:  NA76FD0108           NMFS NUMBER:  96-NER-095

REPORT TITLE:  The Effects of Reduced Groundfish Landings on New England Fresh Fish Processors

AUTHOR:  Daniel Georgianna and Joel Dirlam

PUBLISH DATE:  November 10, 1999

AVAILABLE FROM:  National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Region, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930.  PHONE: (813) 570-5324


In 1993, the authors summarized New England groundfish processors' reactions to the decline in supply of whole fish and the resultant changes in industry structure.   From the interviews and data analyses conducted for this project, the authors conclude that almost all trends in structure and management policies found in 1993 have continued and intensified.  The authors' conclusions include the following:  (1) despite the continuing decline of groundfish landings at the port, Boston continues to lead fresh groundfish processing in New England; (2) with the possible exception of Gloucester, processors in other ports have not fared as well as those in Boston; (3) long-term relationships or loyalties among processors, their suppliers, and their customers have continued to erode, contributing to the day-to-day variability of ex-vessel input prices on one hand and wholesale prices on the other; (4) the survival techniques noted in 1993, including importing fresh fillets, exploiting niches, substituting for groundfish, focusing more on wholesaling, and closely watching the bottom line, have been extended and have become essential features of successful processors' purchasing and marketing strategies; (5) Boston's advantages in transport costs and clustering far outweigh access to local landings of processors in other ports; (6) as the smaller firms have turned to wholesaling or simply vanished, not only are there fewer, and typically larger firms, but the processors' markets have become even more concentrated than in 1992; and (7) although no processor can be said to enjoy an assured supply of whole fish, large firms are better able to draw on widely scattered geographic sources and adapt to display auctions, now an indispensable source of domestic whole fish.

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