God’s Will and the Ocean: Episode 21

God’s Will and the Ocean
True Father Speaks on: The Founding of Ocean Church, page 58-62
October 1, 1980, Morning Garden”

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The Plight of America's Fishing Industry

Then, we looked at the fishing industry. As you know, fishing used to be one of America's major industries. However, in the past twenty to thirty years it has steadily been declining. Now, it has gone down to such a level that it cannot rise up again on its own. On the other hand, are the fishing grounds in America lacking? No. In fact, America has three of the four best fishing grounds in the world. 

There is a problem with the depletion of some species, but there are many, many species which are not utilized at all, and they are perfectly good to eat. The only problem with them is that they are not popular in the market. However, this can change. The government recognizes the situation, but they are at the point of throwing up their hands, especially if the fishermen just don't want to go out to sea anymore. What can they do? We can analyze the problem in a very simple way. Why are the fishermen reluctant to continue? They go out for several days and work very hard, but when they come back, they get almost nothing for their catch. There is no place for them to sell; there is no market for many of their fish. The wholesalers have been exploiting their situation for a long time; they force the fishermen to accept very low prices, knowing that if they don't sell their fish, their only choice is to throw them back in the water.

There is no steady income guaranteed in fishing. Sometimes the fishermen catch enough, but many times they don't. There is a limited number of fishermen. Not everyone can be a fisherman. It's a very tough life out on the sea. Once a fisherman goes out of business, he never returns to it. They will do anything else, but they won't return to it. It's just too much. Already, almost 50% have given up their boats and they will never come back to try again.

There is another problem with fishing: the wives. The fishermen go out for a week, two weeks or a month and this happens all year long. Many women just can't take that way of life, living alone for so much of the year, and they simply leave. This truly discourages the fishermen. It's a tough life to go out to sea; however, you can tolerate it if your family is intact.

Fishermen work hard to bring in the fish, but there is no guarantee that they will get a good price for them. Most storage for fish is inadequate, so if the market already has too much of a species, they won't get anything for it. Or, they may be able to catch a species, but it isn't popular on the market. This is especially true in America, where many kinds of fish aren't even known about. The market is completely unpredictable; some fish you can catch, but you cannot sell them. At the same time, they are not sure their family will remain intact while they are out working so hard. For many men, it's just too much.

For us, the solution is simple. If you can overcome these three problems, you can participate in a very wonderful business. Everyone knows that this is the case, but they cannot overcome these three problems. So, stretch your imagination. We will build our own boats. Then, we will catch the fish ourselves. Next, we will process and sell the fish by ourselves. Finally, we will export what is left over to foreign countries. Whatever we catch, we can sell directly. If this point is solved, then we can grow. You might worry that we will deplete the fisheries. However, scientists have studied this, and they know that a great deal can be taken from a species before it's depleted. In other words, there is a certain amount that you can take, and the species will be able to reproduce, year after year. There are still plenty of fish out there to be caught. We have to determine that we will become the best in fishing, processing, selling and exporting. This will become a merit to us.

Even though you might start up businesses in this area someday, the first thing is that you have to become familiar with the ocean. The business is secondary. The internal character needed to practice a good business comes first. You have not been out on the ocean for a long time, and some of you have never been on the ocean. Even if you are enthusiastic and like the idea, you have to get acquainted with the sea. You have to know what it is really like. That is the purpose of this summer training, of the seventy days out on the ocean. I myself pioneered and perfected this program. It took several years to build up a foundation for you to inherit. This year the method and procedure has been standardized. All you have to do is study it and practice it. It has been an exciting and rewarding process. From the beginning, I backed up this program by designing the boat that is most ideal for tuna catching. As you know, we first bought the boat that is considered in the market to be most ideal for tuna fishing, called the "Mako." However, I immediately saw that it was lacking many things. So, from scratch I designed and developed a much better boat than what now exists.

The Role of Tuna

In the last few years the price of fish was so low, you wouldn't believe it. Sometimes they would just throw the fish right back into the water. The price had to go up just to stabilize the industry. We have been part of the push which has caused the price to go up from only ten cents a pound. When I came here five years ago, people didn't even bother with it; they just threw the fish back. Can you imagine that? Every year, the price has risen steadily until this year it is up to $2.50, and next year, we will see the price go to at least $3.50 per pound. We are paying out of our own resources, and we will have to pay more and more. This is a hard thing to do, but we have to do it for the sake of the future. We have an objective now. What is that? To catch tuna. All you need to do is catch tuna. It is good training for you, but more importantly, it benefits the fishermen.

The value of the tuna is in sushi. You have to deliver it fresh. As long as you deliver it in this way, they will pay the best price for top quality fresh tuna. The Japanese understand the value of this fish. Fishermen shouldn't get a small amount of money for those tuna. Until I came out fishing, fishermen never got the benefit of the tuna price. That has changed now. Here, all the companies that deal with tuna have Japanese companies right behind them. In other words, the real buyers are in Japan; it's coming out of their pockets.

If we drive up the price, the Japanese will have to go back to Japan. Then they will tell everyone, "Well, because of Reverend Moon, we had to forget about buying tuna because the price went up so high." The news will spread overnight in Japan that Reverend Moon is taking over the entire fishing industry in Gloucester. It will have that kind of psychological impact. After all, the Japanese have no

So long as our business can manage at $3.50 per pound and even more, we will buy and sell it. Then, we can begin to make a foundation. Do you understand? When the tuna price goes up and stabilizes, other fish prices will also go up. Years ago, whiting, herring and fish like that were only fifty or sixty cents per pound. That was when tuna prices were also next to nothing. But now, the price has been going up for tuna, and these fish should also go up in price. Presently we only pay ten cents per pound for fresh frozen herring.

The same thing can happen with these fish as with tuna. Why not raise the price back up to $1.50 per pound for these fish and sell them in the market? The tuna serves as a standard setter. By stabilizing the price of tuna, the general price of fish will go up. Whatever we catch, we have to be sure it is consumed, in other words, sold. When we are capable of this much, we can also sell what other fishermen bring in. In this way, we make the foundation from the bottom to the top. Someday, the fishermen should say in unison that Reverend Moon really made a contribution to the fisherman, because he brought up the price and stabilized the market, and opened up a sales net to secure their future. They should be able to see their future become brighter and brighter.

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