John Kincaid here, at First Choice Marine Supply and I had the unique pleasure of taking a trip to Honduras to secure a better understanding of how our products are used and implemented in that region. My trip lasted 12 days, during which I visited two of the three Bay Islands. I spent most of my time on the island of Roatan and 3 days on the key of Bonnaca off the island of Guanaja.
The islands have large commercial fishing fleets including both lobster and shrimp. I make an annual trip down to the lush island just before the opening of the fishing season to get a behind-the-scenes look at the vessels being prepped for use. This is an excellent opportunity for me as a sales representative to see firsthand how our products are used in the daily lives of customers and what tools are invaluable in making these fishing expeditions successful for those who depend on them.
A memorable and positive experience I had was meeting with several companies outside of the commercial fishing industry. From a fuel supplier and an aggregate transport company to a cargo shipping company and local resort managers – tourism and fishing, no doubt, are the backbones of the island. In addition to learning that I need to brush up on my Spanish, I discovered how unique and ingenious the locals are and that things can be used in ways they were not originally intended. People of the islands can be most resourceful.
There are countless products and tools used in commercial fishing that are very industry specific, and there are simple solutions to common problems when fishing for shrimp that I observed up-close and personal. As an example, Everfresh is a popular tool to aid in keeping freshly caught shrimp aesthetically pleasing by preventing black spots from forming on them. Few things are worse to shrimpers than having a fruitful fishing excursion only to lose precious product to a preventable oversight.
While our products are able to assist these vessels with almost everything from stem to stern, topgallant to keel, some of the more common items I saw in use were items like our Perma towing cables, shackles, swivels, & blocks. We provided the product which they use to build the trawling nets such as netting, twine, turtle excluder devices, bycatch reduction devices, rings, net line, and floats – and I was able to see and fully understand how a well-crafted product supports fishing in the region.
There are several memorable aspects I noticed while being in Roatan and Guanaja that go beyond the beaches and swaying palm trees. One of the most positive things I discovered while being in the islands is how polite everyone is. Manners are instilled at a young age. Everyone is Mr./Mrs., please and thank you. I also noticed the pride the locals took in their children and their education. Seeing the school children in their uniforms was endearing as many in the area are of lower socioeconomic status and may come from impoverished and repressed towns. Some schools do not have electricity. However, when the students show up for school, their clothes are clean and crisp, and they are focused on learning. The tenacity and ingenuity of the local culture there was a sight to be seen.
I look forward to learning even more on my trip next year, and we hope to continue to discover ways we can create innovative marine products to make each fishing season better than the last! Until next year, nos vemos!