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Feasting on This Fish! Main Brook is shellin’ scallops for greater returns…

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The waters off the Great Northern Peninsula are filled with delicacies from the sea. There is nothing better than accessing local seafood close to home. On the plate above is halibut, cod, scallop, shrimp complimented with roasted potatoe and sliced carrots.

My father was a scallop fisher. This is a labour intensive process for the small 35 foot boat, dragging along the scallop beds and picking them from the buckets. Most of the time is spent shelling the scallop and taking only the white meat to sell to market. I am excited to see Northern Lights Seafood Ltd. of Main Brook engage in a new process that sells the scallop in a half shell form with all meat and additional product, which adds value. This is the type of secondary processing we need to see from our fishery that creates additional wealth down the value chain from end customer to harvester. It should be encouraged and supported. This concept will allow more sales of product from the fisher resulting in higher net income, plant workers receive additional hours for more labour intensive work, processor sells into higher value markets and consumers receive high-quality and demanded products from the pristine waters off the Strait of Belle Isle.

The smaller processors have opportunities to look at secondary-processing in ways that creates niche products serving niche markets for higher yields. These types of technologies and adaptation must be encouraged if we are to remain competitive on a global level and satisfy changing trends of consumer demands. People want access to high-quality fish products and we have those products, we just have to gain access and package these products to cater to these consumer demands. We have to become more innovative when it comes to our fish products and encourage active infrastructure investments.

Initiatives like “This Fish” (http://thisfish.info/) should be happening on the Great Northern Peninsula, where the fisher who caught the fish is part of the story. It works at the grocery store, restaurant, fish market at the local or global level.

Learn all about the seafood you eat, and connect to the fish Harvester who caught it, by tracing its journey from the ocean to your plate. – This Fish

In May of this year, as the Official Opposition MHA responsible for Business, I joined Sam Slade our MHA responsible for Fisheries and Aquaculture to visit FFAW-UNIFOR’s launch of This Fish seafood traceability for halibut and lobster. There were several businesses and restaurants engaging in this process, showcasing their menus that enables traceability back to a local harvester. People want experiences, they want to know where their food comes from.

This is an opportunity for our local fishers, local restaurateurs, retail and processing community to engage FFAW-UNIFOR to pursue This Fish initiatives on the Great Northern Peninsula. We have incredible fish products and fishers that need to be part of the story as exported fish from our waters ends up halfway around the world or on our neighbour’s dining table or at a downtown St. John’s restaurant.

Let’s keep finding innovative ways to grow our fishery in Newfoundland & Labrador.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA
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My Newfoundland & Labrador themed Christmas Tree

Every decorated Christmas tree is like a snowflake in design, as each one is truly unique. I like to add a flavour of Newfoundland & Labrador to my tree. it seems each year, I manage to add something handmade that relates to local lore and culture.

There are specialty stores that pop-up during the holidays and there are those that are open year round selling Christmas items. Imagine the opportunity we have on the Great Northern Peninsula to put our talents to use and make a variety of Christmas ornaments. An informal group, development organization or craft co-op can be formed to get this moving.

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I got the seal skin boots depicted above as a gift from the late Aunt Stella Hoddinott. They hung from the mirror of my car for years. It certainly makes them easy to find in a parking lot.

My sister has been a modest entrepreneur throughout the years and made several handmade Christmas ornaments. I am pretty sure my mom and I helped her some 13 years ago and I proudly display the scallop shell angel on the tree.

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I have a passion for the mummer’s and look forward to going around visiting before Old Christmas day. I’ve participated in all three Mummer’s Walks and there is a Mummer’s Dance on Saturday! I picked up the accordion ornament at a Christmas store on my first visit to Montreal in 2011. There is another pair of seal skin boots (came from Iqaluit), an Inukshuk (purchased at Grenfell Heritage Shoppe) and a set of snowshoes made by the late Tom Newcombe. I remember giving him a number of wire hangers to make several pairs.DSC_0068

The Newfoundland Boil-up is a tradition that many practise, especially at this time of year. A good ol’ cup of tea in the woods and a small scoff of roasted Newfie Steak (balogna) on a stick or sausages, canned beans and a slice of homemade bread- nothing like it! Also in the picture is “Little Sheila” an Inuk, I made in 2010, while on a cultural exchange in Labrador.

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The gallery below depicts a few others: I’ve bought a lobster claw at the Craft Council’s Fall Fair, I have a matching capelin from Grenfell Heritage Shoppe. The amigurumi grey fish came from the Guardian gift shop at the French Shore Interpretation Centre in Conche, the Puffin was a gift from Amanda. The homemade ball with candy canes were made by the group from Community Readiness for People with Disabilities. The wooden ornament came from the Wind & Waves Artisan Shop in Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo Island as part of the Shorefast Foundation. The killick is an old-fashioned anchor made by Frank Elliott of Main Brook, I purchased from him when I owned and operated Flower’s Island Museum & Mini-golf; in that same picture is my most recent addition of a hand painted ornament of Prague, Czech Republic (where I studied in Europe) and a pair of knitted mittens, made by the late Aunt Dora White. Also, a photo depicts hockey skates, which reminded me of the ones my Dad always wore when he played hockey and another pair of Uncle Tom’s snowshoes are on display next to the reindeer.

I enjoy adding more traditional ornaments to my Christmas tree. There is a real opportunity for hobbyists, crafters and those with an interest to start-up a home-based business, craft co-op or other enterprise to learn new skills and make an income. Let’s not let your talents pass up such an opportunity that can serve as a year-round business.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

 

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