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 ...
Sustaining Rural Communities – Part II
Last month, I talked about the imminent threat to the fishing industry in Atlantic Canada due to young people leaving rural communities.
I suggested that rural communities are being depopulated because the old ways of doing things don’t provide young people with the opportunities, incomes or lifestyles they want.
Keeping the young people — or attracting them to return — means we need to create new opportunities that can provide better incomes and more appealing lifestyles. This ...
Sustaining Rural Communities
People engaged in fishing and fish processing mostly live in rural communities.
In recent years, those communities have seen young people leave in large numbers, causing the populations of rural areas to shrink. As their populations decrease and are made up mostly of older people, the communities themselves are facing a sustainability challenge.
That is a problem for our industry. Young people in rural communities represent the industry’s future. If the sustainability of rural communi...
The Final Final
This is Final Voyages #264 — the last of a 22-year series that began in the first Navigator Magazine in November 1997.
When I pitched the idea of writing a monthly article called Final Voyages in The Navigator, the magazine itself was only a concept. TriNav Group of Companies directors/owners Paul Pinhorn, Trevor Decker and Rick Yong were considering launching a fishing and marine industries publication and asked my opinion on which direction they might follow.
I thought a magazine ...
In August, fish harvesters were giving away newly landed cod in downtown St. John’s.
They gave the fish away free to attract attention as a form of protest, because no fish plants were willing to buy their catches.
It wasn’t that the catches were huge. The plants were fully occupied in processing capelin and didn’t have capacity to process cod at the same time. The harvesters demanded that the provincial government allow buyers from outside the province to come in and buy their ...
Complexity Versus Simplicity
For as long as I can remember — which now goes back nearly four decades — market research has consistently found that consumers do not feel confident about their abilities to buy fish or prepare it at home.
That is a serious problem for our industry, because it means people consume less fish than they would otherwise. But it is also a problem that provides opportunities.
Compared to other protein foods — beef, pork, poultry, sheep — fish are complicated. Consumers typically ...
Under the Surface: Ocean Noise and its Effect on Marine Life
Dr. Jack Lawson was about 10 years old when he watched Jacques Cousteau television documentaries and decided he wanted to work with marine mammals.
“Ever since I was a kid, I used to watch Jacques Cousteau on TV. He would often show something on some diving adventure, and I developed an interest in whales from that.”
While Lawson was finishing his undergraduate degree in Alberta, the head of the department, who knew Jack was going to Arizona to undertake a Ph.D. studying scorpions, ...
Our People Problem — Part II
Last month, I wrote a rather lengthy column about the “people problem” we have here in Atlantic Canada.
In this month’s column, I thought I would bring a sharper focus to the issues I discussed.
As I pointed out in last month’s column, the problem is not just that we have a diminishing workforce, even though that is a serious issue. In many ways, the diminishing workforce is merely a symptom of much deeper problems that need to be addressed. If we only try to treat the symptom, we ...
2019 Crab and Lobster Overview
For the past 10 years, I have made an annual trip to New Brunswick following the Boston Seafood Show to discuss the market outlook for snow crab and lobster with harvesters and processors in a series of meetings around the province, sponsored by the Dept. of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
Here are a few thoughts on those species.
I heard from several people at the Boston Seafood show that sentiment on crab changed on the last day of the show.
At least two Japanese orders ...
Our People Problem
In last month’s Navigator, the Editor’s Notebook section provided an extensive discussion of plant worker shortages, referring to them as “a complex and stubborn dilemma.”
The discussion was largely based on research done by Food Processing Skills Canada. In this column, I will take that discussion in a different direction.
Plant worker shortages are certainly a well-known problem in Atlantic Canada. The shortages are widespread throughout the industry, but particularly acute in ...