Random thoughts on a Friday

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Just some random thoughts for Friday perusal...

1.    Nothing more enjoyable than watching someone puffed up with belligerent arrogance try to explain why they suck, especially in politics. Doesn’t matter who the party is or what the stripe, I’ve always taken an unusual amount of glee in watching cocky politicians get their tail waxed in the opinion polls and then watch them try to explain it. It is wonderful comedic theatre — and really, what the hell else do you get for your disgusting amount of tax dollars these days?

2.    Since my recent blog railing against the idea of their not being some decent Newfoundland seafood restaurants here in the land of deep fried delights and chicken balls otherwise known as Shang-John’s I’ve been getting a few messages from people and restaurant owners telling me I’m wrong, and there are some great seafood places. So far I’ve been told about two: One of them doesn’t take reservations, and the other doesn’t advertise that they have NL seafood. Fail.

3.    In that same blog I also noted that we don’t promote our own seafood to ourselves, which seems stupid. Meanwhile, P.E.I. is currently holding its annual “Love Our Lobster” events while the South West Nova Scotia region gears up for July’s Lobster Bash weekend in Digby County. Both events promote locally caught lobster and the lobster fishery in a myriad of fun and tasty ways — and both are gaining more public interest with the goal of driving provincial/local taste for provincial/local products. Someone please, please, PRETTY please, tell me why we don’t do that on a provincial here? Gah!

4.    Local promotion couldn’t come at a better time for Atlantic lobster. The industry needs every boost it can get given the $2.75 to $3.50 per pound price fishermen are getting for their product on the wharf, which is just about what they got 30 years ago. In the meantime, in Australia, rock lobster is fetching an average of about $16 per pound! Check this story: http://www.suncitynews.com.au/story/1568264/rock-lobster-hit-record-prices/  Maybe the B-52’s should be hired as marketing consultants? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szhJzX0UgDM

5.    Speaking of Newfoundland seafood, turns out somebody got the crazy idea that marketing our mussels might be a good idea. Gasp! Didn’t anyone tell those wacky mussel growers that we don’t like to market our seafood ‘round these parts? No, we prefer to bundle it all up in bulk and ship it on outta here just as fast and unprocessed as possible. I mean, come on, nothing screams “quality” and maximizes economic returns like a 10 pound bag of unmarked shrimp or a crate of crab sections or a block of frozen cod with no label or brand or marketing behind it. Silly mussel farmers, will you never learn? SMH

6.    Looks like the provincial government is going to fork over $86,000 to the FFAW to help get Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for Newfoundland lobster. So...ummm...does that mean the funding freeze put in place against the FFAW last year by former Fisheries Minister Darin King when he got all frothy-mouthed has now been officially lifted? If so, that would be the third decision he’s made in the last little while to have been reversed (the wildlife enforcement officers’ firing and rehiring, and the justice budget cut rollbacks are the others). Got to figure the dude can dance a mean Hokey Pokey with all the in and out decisions he’s been getting himself into/out of.

7.    If you don’t know who Marilyn Kinden is, you should. Of all the people who define the Newfoundland spirit, this woman and her husband Everett deserve to be mentioned. The business they spent 14 years building up, Treats from the Sea (a seafood business and tourist attraction near Lewisporte), burned to the ground a few weeks ago. The insurance apparently covered less than 15 per cent of their estimated $300,000 loss. They could have packed it in, but instead are mortgaging their home to rebuild, and are already working hard to get some business back up and running during the busy tourist season with the help of family and friends. The Fish Lady of Lewisporte is one determined Newfoundlander from whom we could all learn something about determination and hard work.

Jamie Baker is the managing editor for The Navigator magazine, www.thenavigatormagazine.com

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