bishop's falls to buchans

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

crabs, blueballs, lice...

If there was ever a difficult industry to manage it is the fishery. History shows a greedy, immoral seascape of servitude, neglect and destruction.

Newfoundland battles the demons once again with the crab fishery. At first glance I fully supported the gov'ts. position in that it took on the FFAW union which has grown much too big for its britches.

However I now find myself in a dilemma; if I truly believe in free markets the fishermen should be able to sell their catch to the highest bidder. The companies that manage the fish processing plants should have to compete, making their efforts sensible i.e. no more make work projects, no more old, inefficient plants. They can't be used as instruments of social engineering by the goverment any longer. If a plant needs to close then the company should make that decision, not the gov't. (Similar issues arise on a daily basis in newfoundland with the forestry industries and others.)

Of course, the "free market" precept that the fishermen base their outrage on is flawed vis a vis the old quota program. The quotas, in essence, pick the winning and the losing boats.

It's a gordian knot which has no simple answers...