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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Patent Issued for N.L. Robotic Snow Crab Processing Unit
Above: CCFI managing director Bob Verge explaining the patented crab butchering technology.
Work Continuing on Final Phase of System
The first patent has been issued and more are pending for a Newfoundland and Labrador-designed robotic system for butchering snow crab.
“The U.S. patent is the first one and we expect it to be patented in other jurisdictions,” said Robert Verge, managing director of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI) in an interview. “We’re ...
N.L. Cod – What we Heard
The Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation hosted a very successful conference on the theme Cod – Building the Fishery of the Future in Gander on November 28 and 29.
It was attended by about 180 people, representing a good cross-section of the industry, including harvesters, processors, marketers, suppliers, government and academia.
Because of the many different interest groups in the room, there was a lot of potential for disagreement on various issues. However, the session was ably ...
Last month in this column, I talked about changing markets and provided some examples of how the U.S. market for fish products had changed over a 20-year period.
This month, I will focus on how the supply of fish has changed in recent decades.
Markets have two sides — demand and supply. Markets are primarily about the demand side — purchasing and consumption — because that is the reason there is a supply. Without buyers, there would be no suppliers. As I have said before in this ...