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Navigator Magazine | robert verge
robert verge 33 results

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. Opportunity 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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...

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 ...

Changing Supply

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 ...

Changing Markets

We catch fish because we can sell them and earn an income. We don’t intentionally catch fish for which there are no markets. We can earn a better income, if we have a better understanding of what markets want and are willing to pay for and if we then organize ourselves to provide it. It’s also important to understand that markets change over time, sometimes because of changes in what customers want — or can be enticed to buy — and sometimes because of changes in what can be ...

Quantity Versus Value

For the most part, we live in a world where many resources are in short supply relative to human needs and wants. Since 1950, the world’s population has increased three-fold, from 2.5 billion to 7.6 billion this year, creating new demand for just about everything. To keep up with that growing demand, we have been extracting increasing quantities of the world’s resources — and producing a lot of waste products along the way. That is one of the major drivers of the climate change that ...

Cod – The Challenges in Building a New Industry

Last month in this column, I said the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation will be holding a conference in Gander on November 22 and 23, 2017 on the theme, Cod — Building the Fishery of the Future. Since then, however, we have had to change the dates to November 28 and 29, because one of our key speakers would not have been available on the earlier dates. Please note that change. This month, I will talk about some of the challenges in building the new industry that will be discussed ...