The membership of the FMA is composed of trawl vessel owners, skippers and deck hands. The Association is divided into districts with each district electing members to the Board of Directors.
The Fishermen's Marketing Association (FMA) was founded in 1952 in order to
promote stable prices and an orderly flow of wholesome seafood to the consumer.
Today the FMA supplies groundfish and shrimp to around twenty different fish
processing companies at over forty buying stations from Bellingham,
Washington to San Pedro, California.
These deliveries account for in excess of fifty percent of the groundfish and shrimp delivered to domestic processors on the West Coast.
To an ever increasing degree, legislation and regulation are impacting the lives and businesses of those directly involved in the trawl industry. To insure that the concerns of the trawl industry are heard and understood, the FMA maintains continuous contact with key people in the U.S. Congress and all three state legislatures.
Perhaps more importantly, the FMA has been very active and visible with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC). FMA staff and individual FMA members have on the Council, its Groundfish Advisory Panel, and many other Council committees. FMA is there to represent all trawlers as a group.
It is through working with the PFMC that the FMA has been extremely successful in developing fishery management regulations. These regulations not only protect our valuable fish stocks but ensure a continuous supply of seafood to the consumer.
Trawlers in specific - and commercial fishermen in general - must become more visible to the general public. Voters must be aware of the link between what they see on a restaurant menu or behind a seafood counter and the industry that makes it available. FMA has recently become more active in this area, developing informational displays for coastal ports and distributing brochures which describe the commercial fishing industry and its importance to the general economy and to consumers.
From its inception, the FMA has provided a weighmaster service to all its members. At the member's request, trained weighmasters are placed at their processor's scales to verify the weight of the fish or shrimp when it is unloaded from the member's boat. They also verify the size, quality, and species of fish when necessary. The weighmaster acts as a double-check on the processor in the hopes of reducing inescapable human error, thereby increasing the accuracy of the member's settlement check for each shipment of fish or shrimp.
The FMA has led the way for industry conducted research and continues to work with university and government agencies to foster a climate of mutual trust. Members feel that the industry has an obligation to assist researchers in acquiring timely and meaningful data for use in the management of our natural resource. FMA promotes - and funds - research projects of direct benefit to its members and the industry as a whole.
The foremost objective of the FMA is to promote market stability. This stability provides year-round employment for fishermen, crew members and processors plus year-round availability to the global consumer. Market stability is accomplished through uniform prices and continuous supply.
The FMA functions as a facilitator for discussions by fishermen to establish a uniform and stable price along the coast. When fishermen agree to a minimum price for their products many of the wild fluctuations in price, caused by availability due to weather, have been eliminated. Processors, wholesalers, and retail buyers often appreciate this stability in price which does not occur in all seafoods.