Community Supported Fisheries: Helping Fishermen Fish Smarter, Not Harder
With the constant changes in the life of fishermen, one place where they can begin to take back some control is their relationship with those who eat their catch, the price they get paid for their day’s work and the food systems into which their catch enters.
Why Community Supported Fisheries
Note: for the most up-to-date resources on CSFs and values-based seafood businesses check out LocalCatch.org and view the CSF locator to find a CSF near you.
Helping Fishermen Fish Smarter, Not Harder
With the constant changes in the life of fishermen, one place where they can begin to take back some control is their relationship with those who eat their catch, the price they get paid for their day’s work and the food systems into which their catch enters. Community Supported Fisheries are a value based and principle based way of distributing their catch.
It makes no sense any more to pay fishermen a price that doesn’t cover their real cost of operation while the consumers are paying much more than they should for packaged, frozen or days-old seafood trucked hundreds or thousands of miles when it was caught steps away from our homes.
In addition to getting fishermen a better price for their catch, Community Supported Fisheries allow us to have a conversation with seafood consumers about the entire food-supply-chain process of what swims in the ocean to what lands on our plates. By creating transparency around our seafood production processes, CSFs help define the importance of local food sources by emphasizing sustainable fishery practices; encouraging environmental sensitivity among fishermen; ensuring higher quality processing standards; providing a direct-to-consumer, low-carbon foot-print; and ultimately, a competitively-priced, higher quality seafood experience for the consumer.
Steve Parks of Cape Ann Fresh Catch hands fresh seafood to a CSF shareholder at the Morse School in Cambridge
In short, CSFs will not only helps us realize the triple bottom line, but by adding the food system to the equation the quadruple bottom line:
CSFs encourage an ethic of ecological stewardship that results in creative, community-based approaches to marine conservation.
CSFs increase the viability of traditional coastal communities by fostering economic opportunities that support natural resource-based livelihoods.
CSFs cultivate ties and establish bonds between shoreside communities and inshore urban, suburban and rural communities by providing fresh, local seafood.
Healthy Regional Food Systems
CSFs pave the way for a truly safe, secure, sovereign and healthy regional food system by ensuring seafood is included in local and regional food systems.