The Boats & Gear blog is overseen by our Boats & Gear editor, Michael Crowley. It explores new construction projects, electronics, gear and equipment for the commercial fishing industry.
Written by Jes Hathaway
Thursday, 17 October 2013
The Oct. 1 blog of my fellow editor, Jessica Hathaway, entitled “Better know a fisherman” was about the promotion of the fishing industry through a federal program — Seafood 101.
It made me think of an earlier seafood promotion campaign intent on reminding people that seafood was “Delicious, Nutritious, Healthful.” It was a time when there was a great deal of despair in the country. It was the Depression of the 1930s and the uncertainty swirling across the country was pulling families and businesses into its void.
That included the fishing industry, which was in a “state of irresolution,” according to an editorial in the July 1932 edition of the Atlantic Fisherman. As a result, seafood was being undercut by the “decreased price of meats and other foods, which have attracted the public, always fickle and faddish in its tastes, away from it.”
Then the Linen Thread Co., which was involved with pretty much anything that had to do with thread — sewing thread, shoe threads, mattress twine, seine twine, tarred lines, nets, trawls — came up with an idea to end the “uncertainty and aimlessness.”
It was the “Eat More Fish” campaign. Initially it was directed at those within its own nationwide organization, telling its employees to eat more fish and to promote the idea to others.
Then the Linen Thread Co. started putting stickers on all their mail, both letters and packages. The three-color sticker measured 1 1/2 inches by 2 1/4 inches with the words “Eat More Fish — Delicious, Nutritious, Healthful.”
It wasn’t long after that the Linen Thread Co. started getting requests for the stickers in lots from 2,000 to 10,000. The stickers were 50 cents per thousand to produce, and the Linen Thread Co. sold them at cost. The stickers lacked advertising, so any company could use them.
In its editorial, Atlantic Fisherman saw the campaign as a confidence builder for the fishing industry that anyone could promote and at little expense.
Eighty-one years later the fishing industry and the country, while both have their problems, are in much better shape. Still, I wonder what would happen if a company like, say, Furuno, with business in both the recreation and commercial markets, put The Linen Thread Co. sticker on all its packages and letters? It wouldn’t hurt the fishermen, and I bet the company’s sales from the fishing industry would increase. Just a thought.
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