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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 ...

Meeting Specifications

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 ...

On the Waterfront – July 2020

Another N.B. Lobster Plant Gutted by Fire A May 21 fire completely destroyed a large seafood processing plant in northeastern New Brunswick. The lobster processing plant, Les Pêcheries de Chez Nous was located in Val-Comeau, a small coastal community in the regional municipality of Tracadie. The blaze broke out shortly before 3 p.m. and took firefighters about three-and-a-half hours to get under control. “The plant is a total loss,” he said. He said the plant was in production ...

The Changing Face of Seafood Distribution

Like so many other businesses, the core business of major U.S. seafood distributors has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. We all know how restaurants, hotels and casinos and amusement parks shut down. And food service seafood sales have fallen anywhere from 30 to 98 per cent, depending on the type of venue and offering. I have been wrestling with what this might mean for our industry. The only certainty I have is that we won’t go back to the way things were before. The restaur...

Predictability

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 ...

Welcome to the New Normal

“People often ask when the world will return to its normal days. Don’t wait for normal days. Assume that abnormal days are normal days. Today’s abnormal normal is now our new normal.” Mehmet Murat Ildan (Turkish playwright and author)   Last month’s Navigator Magazine was the always-popular, annual safety issue. It always highlights and puts the importance of safety in the fishery out front, where it should always be. As every harvester knows, fishing is a dangerous ...

The Twine Loft – June 2020

Passed On: Charles Pearcey – St. John’s, N.L. fisherman Pearcey, 82, passed away on April 18. Born on April 26, 1937 in St. John’s, he was the eldest son of the late James and Ethel Pearcey of the Outer Battery. He was well known for his passion of family history of St. John’s and the Outer Battery. He was often found at the family twine store welcoming one and all. The door was always open. He received such distinction as a Provincial Historic Traditional Bearer and appeared on ...

On the Waterfront – June 2020

ISA Outbreak at Northern Harvest Smolt Facility Northern Harvest Smolt Limited (NHSL) recently announced that the suspect detection of infectious salmon anemia (ISA) at its hatchery located in Stephenville, N.L. has been confirmed. Follow-up sampling at the facility identified eight fish as positive for pathogenic ISA and six fish as positive for non-pathogenic ISA. In response to this confirmation and in keeping with best practice, NHSL is culling all 450,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon ...

Work Together or Hang Separately, it is That Simple

Above: Lonnie Snow photo   Two qualities that give the seafood industry its unique character are being made up of a multitude of diverse companies of all sizes and having an immense diversity of species and products. In the U.S. meat industry, four companies control 84 per cent of beef production, 65 per cent of pork production, 53 per cent of poultry and one dairy co-op and one processor control 30 per cent and 40 per cent respectively of the national milk supply. Our compan...

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 ...