Never thought I would agree with a fish merchant, but it is music to my ears to hear a prominent processor preaching that the walls of protectionism be demolished and the winds of free trade and free enterprise be permitted to blow freely through this industry.
I am assuming that the dawn of this new era will see the chains that have held fishermen in bondage to the fish merchants be finally severed and the power of the cartel swept away.
I envision a new dawn of entrepreneurship in which a person with a dream of building a cottage industry plant to process small amount of product from small boat fishermen will be permitted the freedom to risk his capital, as in any other type of endeavour.
I envision fisherpeople being afforded the freedom to sell their catch at the wharf to the highest bidder, wherever in the world that buyer might decide to process his product. Hopefully, it will be right here in Newfoundland, but free trade and free enterprise will give the buyer the right to make that business decision. No longer will the Gulf of St. Lawrence be the Berlin Wall of the Newfoundland fishermen.
The same type of protectionism and government control that led to the demise of the once great Soviet Union has been a failed model for the fishery, but it is crucial and critical that the winds of freedom blow, not only for the processors, but for the smallest boat fisherman and anyone wishing to become a fish buyer as well.
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!