October 04, 2012
National Popularity of Community-Supported Fisheries on the Rise
By Chad Love
Can community-supported seafood markets and restaurants do the same thing for small-scale commercial fishermen that the slow food/locavore movement has done for small-scale farming? This really interesting New York Times article explores the question...
From this story in the New York Times:
Heading toward his fifth hour of filleting, his thick rubber boots squeaking on the wet concrete floor, Glen Libby, a fisherman by trade, looks more like a beleaguered line cook than the hero of a seafood revolution. Five years ago this month in this unspoiled fishing port immortalized by three generations of Wyeths, Mr. Libby and about a dozen cohorts banded together to try to rescue their depleted fish stock and their profession. The result (“after trial and error with a lot of error” in Mr. Libby’s words) was Port Clyde Fresh Catch, the country’s first community-supported fishery, now part of a burgeoning movement trying to do for small-scale local fishermen what community-supported agriculture does for farmers.
According to the story, these community-supported local fisheries require restaurant cooks to agree in advance to purchase local catches, while for their part, commercial fisherman are encouraged to seek out plentiful species that aren't threatened or scarce. The article also states that community-supported fisheries are a growing trend, with around 30 (and counting) nationwide.
Many of us prefer buying local produce and meats, so would you also leave the supermarket seafood behind and support your local fishermen as well?