Informal Markets, Perishability and Vertical Control: Brokerage of Artisanal Landings
This is a case study of the institutional changes occurring since the late 1990s at the Chilean Austral Hake (Merluccius Australis) artisanal fishery. This high-value exporting fishery, specialized in selling fresh-chilled products, represents a pioneering case of self-government developments within small-scale fishing communities exploiting mobile marine resources in Chile. Despite entry restrictions and global catch quotas, this fishery faced a productivity crisis between the late 1980s and the second half of the 1990s. Consequently, the fishermen started talks with the Government in order to introduce new management rules. After gradual evolution, today there prevails a well-developed system of de facto individual non-transferable quotas which are subject to a high degree of self-management by fishermen organisations. In order to understand the conditioning factors behind the exchange solutions found at this fishery, an analysis is provided of the industrial concentration and the strategies of vertical control between transacting parties along the production and marketing stages. The contractual issues analysed are: the use of informal markets, interlinkage contracting, temporal specificity due to product perishability, the use of different instruments of vertical control and the influence of increasing industrial concentration as we advance through the wholesale marketing channel and get closer to the retailing stages at final export markets.
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