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Fishing Cooperatives and Political Power: A Mexican Example

John S. Petterson
Anthropological Quarterly
Vol. 53, No. 1, Special Issue: Maritime Anthropology (Jan., 1980), pp. 64-74
DOI: 10.2307/3317882
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3317882
Page Count: 11
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Fishing Cooperatives and Political Power: A Mexican Example
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Abstract

This paper suggests that by organizing fishermen into cooperatives designed to purchase and operate the larger seiners various problems could be alleviated. The production capacities and economies of scale would provide improved incomes to its members. Social conditions, too, should improve as a result of the better working conditions and increased social solidarity involved in the cooperative ownership and management of these larger vessels. Input into government decision-making would dramatically increase as the unanimity of the membership of these cooperatives, resulting from identical techno-environmental adaptations, is effected at the level of the cooperative federation. As the political input of the federation increases, fishermen will be more attracted to cooperatives of all levels and be motivated to greater participation. A take-off level-in which the efficacy of participation draws greater participation and vice versa-may be attained and self-generating growth take place. From research carried out on Mexican high-seas cooperatives, it is shown how lessons learned in the Mexican context may be instructive in efforts to develop similar organizations in the U. S.

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