Middlemen, known in the Mindoro region as casas,are responsible for buying the fish as it is brought to shore and bringing it to wholesale markets.
Fluent in the local culture and language, yet commercially savvy and well connected, middlemen in many regions are able to make huge profits by exploiting their exclusive access to markets. Fishers end up being "price takers", selling the fish at whatever price the middleman will pay. Otherwise the middleman can buy from other fishers, condemning a fisher's catch to spoil.
However, middlemen In Mindoro have relatively low profit rates. Possible reasons are that casas have to compete with each other for access to the product and exporters that have access to high quality tuna from multiple regions. Interventions such as bringing new players into the middlemen sector to create competition or offering fair pricing buying alternatives aimed at reducing middlemen profit margins are not relevant here. Instead, interventions aimed at helping fishers could end up benefiting middlemen as well. In our model, the option to "remove middlemen" can be used to simulate an alignment of objectives by merging middlemen and municipal fishers into a single unit with common interests. Read about establishing a single seller operation for an example.