Mr. R. V. Turner
May 26, 1965
The last quarter of this year and the first quarter of next year, provided you like this product and if the price is equal or below tuna. We are enthused about this product and feel now that with it we can be successful eventually on promoting it nation-wide, solving the excess mullet problem that now exist in the state of Florida. Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Harmon W. Shields
Director of Marketing
State Archives of Florida: Series S1159, Box 01, Folder 5
This letter was written by Harmon W. Shields, Director of marketing for the Florida Board of Conservation to R.V. Turner at the Florida State Prison at Raiford. The Florida Board of Conservation had been attempting to reform the public image of mullet by renaming it "lisa." The hope was that this would allow the Florida seafood industry to begin canning and marketing the fish to customers nationwide as an alternative to canned tuna and salmon. Mullet had a reputation as a "trash fish" in most areas outside of Florida, hence the desire to rename it. "Lisa" was a name given to some species of mullet by Spanish-speaking fishermen. In this letter, Shields explains to Turner that he is sending samples of the canned lisa to the Florida State Prison, and he wants Turner and his associates to try the product and comment on its quality. He describes the possibility that a cannery in Miami will soon be producing canned lisa on a large scale, such that institutions like the Florida State Prison might be able to use it. Shields expresses the hope that being able to market the fish more widely will solve the problem of the mullet market being glutted.
May 26, 1965