Date of Award

1981

Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs

Abstract

Selling fish at the landings stage by auction, as opposed to the current practices of selling to middlemen and through cooperatives, has been proposed by several authors. They suggest that fishermen would receive higher prices and that auction competition would improve fish quality.The aim of this study was to compile the rules and procedures of existing fish auctions, and to explore their effect on price formation. This would provide a basis for any who wished to determine the applicability of fish auctions in particular ports. While the findings are relevant to all fish auctions, special emphasis was placed on the performance of New England's two existing fish auctions. Possible improvements to those two auctions were shown. The study found that where minimum requirements in buyer competition and sales volume were met, fish auction prices would accurately reflect value. Fishermen often prefer stable and steadily increasing profits over maximum profits, and thus they support fish auctions on grounds other than that they give the best prices. Auctions are shown to be a very efficient means of marketing fish in terms of time and participant involvement, and are sometimes also used because crews want prices to be publicly displayed.