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Marketing of Fish

Marketing  of Fish

  Fish Marketing Practices and Structure of Markets

  • To make fish available to consumers at the right time and in the right place requires an effective marketing system.
  • Fishermen catch fish by labouring overnight (from common-property water bodies) do not usually sell fish in retail markets.
  • At the break of day, they take their catches to places where retailers, meet them and bargain by the lot.
  • At the landing point, the number of intermediaries is low. Only one or two intermediaries may approach a fisherman.
  • Once bargaining has started, other intermediaries remain at a distance and wait for their turn to deal, should the first intermediary fail to obtain the fisherman's lot.
  • If the first intermediary is unsuccessful, another intermediaries steps in to bargain for the catch. Normally, the first intermediaries do not allow this to happen and secures the lot for him.
  • No open bidding exists.
  • Therefore, the poor fisherman often falls prey to the retailer's crude exploitations

 A fisherman, as a seller, cannot negotiate favourable prices for himself:

  • He cannot keep fish for a long time because the product is highly perishable,
  • He has no specific place to sit in the market to sell his fish.
  • Entry into the market is difficult for fishermen for many reasons, mainly because of strong non-cooperation and resistance from the retailers.
  • A pond-farmer, who sells fish by the lot or by species, faces one or two intermediaries in his area.
  • Sometimes, intermediaries establish their own exclusive trading areas, where other intermediaries do not interfere or compete openly. This is particularly the case in remote villages.
  • In areas that are well connected by roads and rail, fish farmers contact wholesalers in secondary or higher secondary markets directly and negotiate prices and quantities of fish with their own initiatives.

 Fish-Marketing Channels:

  • Domestic markets and distribution of fish are dominated by a large number of intermediaries.
  • All fish traded internally and for export pass through private channels.
  • Fish distribution usually involves four levels.

Primary Markets:

  • Markets located in villages, district headquarters or at a crossroads are considered primary markets.
  • They are usually near areas where fish are caught.
  • Fishermen bring a variety of fishes (dominated by small fish from both open-water capture and from ponds) to the primary markets.

 Secondary Markets:

  • The intermediaries take the fish bought from the fishermen / primary markets / landing points to the nearest Upazilla or river port markets by road, river or rail to sell to wholesalers.
  • From these secondary markets the fish distributed to urban markets / higher secondary markets through different channels by commissioned agents for wholesalers or other kind of intermediaries.

 Higher Secondary Markets:

  • Markets in district headquarters can be considered as higher secondary markets that are connected with several secondary markets for the supply of fish.
  • Serving large areas of consumer / terminal markets.
  • Consist of one or more wholesale markets or centres, where wholesalers deal in fish.
  • These markets are well connected by road, river and rail.

 City or Terminal Markets:

  • Retailers buy fish from wholesaling centres of higher secondary and secondary markets. They sell fish directly to consumers either through fixed stalls or by vending from head / rickshaws.
  • Intermediaries operating on different levels perform marketing functions like cleaning, sorting, boxing, icing, re-packing and arranging of transportation, etc from the start of the distribution channel for fish  at the secondary markets to the city or terminal markets
  • At each market level, wholesalers and retailers may be supplying fish to local consumers.
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