Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan quake causes ups and downs in NL economy


Shockwaves from Japan’s environmental disaster may throttle what’s left of the NL fishery, but the unfolding nuclear threat may boost the prospects of the lower Churchill.

We can’t win for losing.

Released in February, the
MOU report on fishing industry rationalization and restructuring warned the NL fishery is in a “volatile” economic state

“Perhaps one or two relatively poor seasons away from further economic misfortune.”

Wouldn’t you know it, another
“poor” fishing season may be on the way.

Japan buys about 40 per cent of crab landed in Newfoundland and Labrador, but with so many Japanese focused on relief and rebuilding, exports of “high-end goods” like crab may take a market pounding.

In 2009, the landed value of the NL fishery totaled $359 million.

Snow crab came in first in landed value, at $169 million.

The NL fishery has no luck.

Period.

And
politicians don't seem to have a clue what to do about it.
•••
As for the boost to the lower Churchill project, the ongoing nightmare at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant must make Americans nervous.

The U.S. relies on nuclear power for 20 per cent of its electricity, and the average nuclear plant is more than 30 years old, with “dangerous weaknesses.”

I’d take lower Churchill juice any day over nuclear power.

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