Why oh why, is there no fish to buy

Publisher and editor Kathy O'Reilly Taylor on the lack of fresh seafood in Port Hardy

I don’t go down island very often, but I once again had the opportunity this past weekend to travel south because my daughter was visiting from Alberta.

My son surprised me by having days off and joining us for the weekend.

My brother and sister in law live near Black Creek so we met there.

The first thing we did was go to the dock at Campbell River for lunch. We sat and ate fresh fish and chips on the water front.

We had to walk past Crabby Bob’s to get to it. Crabby Bob’s had fresh salmon, prawns, scallops, etc. for sale.

The next day we went to walk around the dock in Comox where there was a tiny trailer fixed up to sell fish and chips and other cooked seafood.

We walked down onto the wharf where there was a boat selling salmon, tuna, etc.

I didn’t visit the dock in Courtenay this trip, but I’m sure they have similar businesses operating.

Once again I felt my frustration that we don’t have something like this available for residents of, and visitors to, the Tri-Port area. These places are busy.

I’ve heard people say, it’s because you can’t get a licence.

Obviously that is not the case. If other communities do it, why can’t we?

I can’t understand why no one in the North Island sees this as a tremendous small business opportunity –  at least during the summer months, perhaps even May to September.

The cute little fish and chip stand in Comox, is something that can be easily stored for the winter so there is no need to pay rent for a store front location 12 months of the year.

It could be operated by college or university students returning home for the summer, thereby providing employment opportunities.

And it could help the Tri-Port become more of a ‘You’ve Gotta Eat Here’ destination, rather than a place people come to to board a ferry to go somewhere else.

A store that sells seafood would also be a welcome addition. In order to make it more viable, the seafood could be partnered with a stock of beachy home decor and gift items, etc.

Everyone who visits Vancouver Island, particularly from other provinces or countries, or even mainland British Columbia, wants a taste of what people here take for granted – fresh seafood, right out of the water.

They want to sit down and have it prepared for them by a chef, or have access to fresh seafood to take back to their campsite and throw it on the barbecue.

The fact that there is no place for fresh seafood to be purchased here is, frankly, just odd.

It is also a real gap in the North Island experience we are providing to visitors.