Fisher-Buyer Trade Relations: An Oppressive Reality

  • Max Teody T. Quimilat Southern Leyte State University
Keywords: dependency theory, patron client system, small-scale fisheries, poverty alleviation, fishermen’s cooperative, social responsibility, anthropology,, Philippines, Asia


The Philippines is a country with rich marine resources.Many of its people rely on fishing as a way of life. Even with itsabundance, people relying on fishing are still stacked below thepoverty line. This bounty of resources did not become advantageousto the fishing communities. Several interventions from localgovernment units and non-government organizations have taken place,yet the problem of the fisher’s well-being has been stagnant. This studysought to understand the fisher-buyer trade relations and how theybecome problematic and favorable to the buyer. This is amanifestation of the dependency theory in the local communities.Fisher folk and buyers were interviewed in a semi-structured in-depthinterview to solicit data on the mechanism of the system. The systemwas found to be problematic and unfair to the front-liners in thefishing industry. Several solutions were proposed through the yearsyet many have failed. Successful cooperative formation in the fishingcommunities in other parts of the world could be an answer to thisplague in the Philippines even if it has also been challenged throughthe years.