Look, I've got nothing against the fishing industry.  I've got nothing against fish. I love seafood.  But, why do my tax dollars have to be spent promoting a multi-billion dollar industry?  Can't the "richest seaport in the nation" afford it's own website?   Why do I have to pay for it?

The Baker Administration is doling out more than 100 thousand dollars in grants to promote and market Massachusetts seafood.  $13 thousand dollars of that grant will go to the New Bedford Harbor Development Commission to launch a new website to tell people that we have fish here.  The site will create what will become known as, "Seafood Throwdowns," though the details of what exactly that will entail is being closely guarded at this time.

This little taxpayer giveaway has the support of none other than Senator Mark Montigny, who tells WBSM NEWS, "If you're not constantly promoting the product online all over the world, you're falling behind your competition."  State Representative Tony Cabral says, "We need to use every resource at our disposal to make sure that the industry is getting as much exposure as possible."   This, from the guy who argues that we cannot afford to spend $20 thousand dollars a year to make sure that criminal illegal aliens are not being released from our prisons to terrorize the population.

No doubt, marketing is a wise business move in this day of world-wide competition.  Just seems to me that when we don't have money to keep our fire stations open 24/7, or can't afford more than the minimal spending required by the state for our schools that the fishing industry, which is rolling in dough,  could pass the hat and come up with the $13 thousand dollars needed to create a website promoting itself.

I know, it's only $13 thousand dollars.  But, $13 thousand here and $13 thousand there and next thing you know we've got enough to hire a teacher, or a fireman.  Hmmmm.  Just saying.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.