© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Carl Gallant of North Rustico was on the wharf Saturday April 19, 2014 getting some his lobster traps ready for the opening of the season April 30. The ice in some harbours and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence could be a problem for fishermen but most are not worried. The main thing on their mind is the price that will be paid for lobster.
Editor: Ron MacKinley is a long-time politician and a farmer who presently holds the cabinet post as minister of fisheries.
The new 2014 lobster season is about to open and the fishers still have no idea what prices they will receive for their catches. One wonders what the minister is doing to improve this uncertain pricing situation which has raised its ugly head once more.
Last year fishermen took to selling lobsters off the back of their trucks and some tied up their boats saying it was too costly to go out and fish lobster for $2.50 per pound.
MacKinley has been grilled by the opposition and defended by the premier. This is, of course, the expected shouting match that is common in the provincial parliament. However, in this particular case I believe the opposition is justified to call MacKinley out on the issue. What has he done to help improve the prices?
Well last year he took Norman Peters to China on a trade mission. I have nothing against Mr. Peters personally, but have to wonder why he was taken to China. To the best of my knowledge he has no international or otherwise marketing skills, he is a local long-standing Rustico fisherman. That is even before we get into the cost of his China venture.
Now the latest idea from our minister is to use a couple of hockey players to promote the lobster industry. How, or why, would a hockey player tempt people into eating more lobster? This latest costly strategy also eludes me.
In the 1950’s, Ike, the U.S. president, said during a time of economic troubles, “Salesmen of America go to work”. I believe it’s time for our salespeople to go to work, no fancy TV ads, no expensive trade missions, no Rustico fishers and no hockey players.
We need sales people to start knocking on doors around the world. Marketing is a simple process that our leaders have managed to complicate.