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Posted by Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds on June 4, 2010, 7:29 pm



I believe that is why cooperatives, Blue Diamond and Sunkist come to mind, are
formed. No one should get screwed out of a living, but isn't likely that what
the fisherman saved by not having lawyers was more costly in the end?


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Posted by z on June 10, 2010, 3:37 pm

Hard to say.  I know it's been tried and there are some fishing
collectives, but getting boat captains to agree on anything is like
hearding cats.  They are all lords of their domain -- even more so than
farmers or ranchers !  At the moment there is a loose association that
sends the five or so captains to do the negotiation for the whole PNW
crab prices (my captain being one this year).

I think what would help is a fund that each boat pays into so when the
price is too low, we can all hold out 'go on strike' if you will.   That
fund is used to help the guys make payments during negotiation.

THe big guys know if we threaten to hold out for a better price enough
fishermen will have to fold and go fishing just to make payments so we
have very little negotiation room.

But that smells too much like a union probably.  

Posted by vaughn on June 10, 2010, 5:37 pm

Careful!  There are laws that cover anti-competitive behavior by business.
Labor can organize and bargain collectively, but business can't always do the
same thing.  Don't know if that applies to a fishermen.


Posted by z on June 10, 2010, 10:25 pm

that's interesting.  All the big buyers show up to negotiate the price,
so they're doing the same thing.  The price gets set for dungeness at
these meetings then that is the price all up and down the whole coast
from Washington down to California.  

I wonder if them colluding is illegal.  Probably not.  I'd probably have
to read more about corn prices or whatnot.  I mean it's more like a
commodity price than a wage or a widget or a service.

Well no way it'd ever happen and i'm no lawyer, so maybe not waste my
time on it.  Interesting though you bring up the anti-competitive stuff.  
Never even thought of that.

Posted by Bruce in alaska on June 11, 2010, 12:21 am

Absolutely, it applies to fishermen, and Fish Buyers... There have been
some really BIG lawsuits over Price Fixing in the Fish Biz, up here in
alaska. Collusion can get you a nice stay in the GrayBar Hotel.

Bruce in alaska
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