HISTORICAL MARKET DEVELOPMENT Headed and gutted (H&G) is the only
product form of Pacific whiting which has been successfully
developed by the domestic west coast seafood industry. This
success is attributed to the development of a production and
marketing concept which minimized enzyme and texture related
quality problems. Attempts to market other product forms have
been too small and too disorderly to effectively address product
quality issues. Profits and margins for the H&G west coast
industry, however, have been relatively modest due to disorganized
marketing efforts and limited bargaining power. Given the
specialized markets for H&G whiting, significant production
increases by west coast processors could lead to price reductions.
NATIONAL MARKET SURVEY A national market survey was conducted to
explore market opportunities for expanded shore-based production
of Pacific whiting. Survey objectives included developing
information on optimal product forms, relative importance of
product characteristics, product demand, and the effects of
alternative contractual arrangements.
PORTFOLIO OF PRODUCT FORMS By strategically controlling product
quality a "portfolio of" product forms could be processed from
Pacific whiting including H&G, fillets, surimi, minced, and
breaded products. Given variations in both market conditions and
intrinsic product characteristics, strategies based on diversified
products would be advantageous for sustaining development and
reducing overall industry risks.
PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS Alternative characteristics of Pacific
whiting are not considered as important as price for low value
products such as H&G. For higher priced products such as fillets
and breaded portions, other product characteristics become
relatively more important in impacting marketing opportunities.
PRODUCT DEMAND IN INTERMEDIATE MARKETS Various characteristics of
intermediary market buyers will influence the demand for
alternative whiting product forms, product attributes, and
contractual arrangements. In general, the further downstream the
market sector the relatively more important product
characteristics become. These findings have important
implications for developing marketing and sales strategies.
COOPERATION AND RISK SHARING A significant degree of cooperation,
risk sharing, and marketing commitment is essential among industry
sectors in order to effectively solve product quality problems.
To address these issues the industry should develop formal
associations and generic quality standards.
STATE SUPPORT State and local governments should encourage the
industry to control product quality, solve waste disposal
problems, and develop effective fisheries policy strategies.
REGULATORY STRATEGIES Regulatory strategies for the Pacific
whiting fisheries should be structured to effectively control
fishing effort and to consider market related issues in order to
realize the full economic potential of this developing industry.