Reflections on More Than 40 Years in the Industry
This will be my last column in The Navigator.
I am retiring from the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI) at the end of September.
In one way or another, I have been involved in the capture fishery for over 40 years. For my final column, I will reflect on events in the industry during that time.
As I consider what has happened over the past 40 plus years, the first word that springs to mind is opportunity. Although that may surprise some people, the fact is we ...
Be Careful What You Ask For
There is an old saying that comes in many different variations.
A common one is, “Be careful what you ask for, because you may get it in greater measure than you expect.” It is a warning that what you ask for may not actually be good for you.
The origins of that idea go back at least to the book of Elijah in the Old Testament of the Bible. It is also in Aesop’s Fables, the world’s best-known collection of morality tales, dated to around 260 B.C.
But Elijah and Aesop likely just ...
These days, nearly all commercial food products are grown, harvested, cut and packaged in accordance with specifications.
Governments specify the minimum requirements that must be met to ensure consumer health and safety. Food retailers, restaurant operators and other food service organizations specify additional requirements to ensure their products will be attractive to consumers, meet targeted price points and fit into their production and distribution systems. Both sets of specifications ...
Predictability is the degree to which a prediction, forecast or expectation is likely to come true.
It is the foundation on which all plans are made. Unless there is a reasonable expectation of predictability, a plan has little chance of becoming reality.
About 30 years ago, the U.S Army War College developed the idea that we increasingly live in a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous — or VUCA, for short. According to that view, we hope for certainty in a world that ...
Matching Demand and Supply
Recent events related to the COVID-19 lockdown have brought into very clear focus the economic laws of supply and demand that usually operate more in the background.
Essentially, these laws state that, in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular item will vary, until the quantity demanded is equal to the quantity supplied.
If market demand is higher than supply, the price will rise, to attract new supply. But if supply exceeds demand, the price will drop, until some suppliers ...
Risk = Probability x Impact
Safety is the theme for this month’s issue of The Navigator.
But safety is a concern because of risk. The fishery is widely regarded as being the riskiest occupation in the world.
The risks have even been the subject of reality television shows, such as Deadliest Catch, about the crab fishery in Alaska. When the risks in your industry are offered to the public as a form of entertainment, to provide a vicarious thrill, it is not a good sign.
Risk can be assessed based on the simple ...
Last month, I wrote a column about valuing the ocean.
This month, I will follow up with a column about valuing fish, just one of the resources the ocean provides but a very important one, both globally and here in Atlantic Canada.
In 2011, Michael Mainelli and Ian Harris published an award-winning book entitled The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions. It is worth noting that the authors were involved in creation of the Marine Stewardship Council, which ...
Valuing the Ocean
One way or another, most of the people reading this column earn their living from or because of the ocean.
As that indicates, the ocean is a valuable resource. But it is easy to take that resource for granted and not appreciate the value we get from it.
The ocean represents about 70 per cent of the earth’s surface. Scientists tell us that humans evolved from creatures that migrated out of the ocean onto land a long, long time ago, so we owe our very existence to it. And it has played a ...
Comparisons are often made between the fisheries in Iceland and Atlantic Canada.
I have made such comparisons in this column and others have made them, as well. In these comparisons, Iceland is usually considered a model we need to follow.
There are good reasons to make such comparisons.
Historically, Iceland’s fishery was similar to ours in Atlantic Canada. We harvested the same species in similar quantities and competed in the same markets. The major difference was that Icelandic ...
Aquaculture Versus Capture Fishing
In September 2019, something like 2.6-million fish died in aquaculture farming operations on Newfoundland’s south coast.
The event caused quite a stink — both literally and figuratively. And the media was full of stories, most of which were based more on emotional rants than they were on facts and reality. Because of that, I thought it would be worth putting some things in perspective, to reduce the heat and shed some light on a very significant issue.
As a starting point, it may be ...