I can see fishing boats chugging out to sea practically from my window, but in the grocery stores and fish markets, the seafood often is farm-raised or foreign. The question of why we don’t have more local seafood has plagued me, and others I’m sure, as long as I’ve lived on the North Shore. Cathy Huyghe discusses this lack in an article in the Gloucester Times. She also offers an answer: Community Supported Fisheries.
Any localvore worth her salt (to mix metaphors) is familiar with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), where the consumer plunks down a small wad of bills in the spring and in return gets weekly boxes of fresh, beautiful produce all summer and into the fall. What if you could plunk down a small wad of bills and receive fresh fish all summer? The fishermen would receive reliable capital and fair-trade prices for their catch and the localvore would eat well and support the local economy.
Community Supported Fisheries have received a bit more press since I first mentioned them. A recent issue of Orion discusses them and their benefits and barriers to success and the Gloucester Times is also keeping an eye on them. There’s a CSF in the midcoast of Maine and one in North Carolina. Maine also has a lobster CSF (of course!). The Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance is actively pursuing the establishment of more CSFs. There has been talk of setting up a CSF in Gloucester. I’m looking forward to it.