SeaSA anyone?

Food awareness is everywhere you turn these days, as a result one of the fastest growing trends in agriculture is connecting the consumer directly to the producer. 12,500 farms in the U.S. ran CSA’s last year. Community Supported Fisheries is an exciting new addition to the mix. Originally started in Rockland,Maine (great town by the way) by the Port Clyde Fresh Catch Fishery, this is an idea whose time seems to have arrived. Consider a similar effort launched in Boston. Organized by the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association, MIT Sea Grant and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, initial hopes were for 50 members to start; 750 Bostonian’s joined the first year and 500 more are on a waiting list. The politics of food are complicated but fishing politics are really complicated. What’s good and what’s right? Small, local, regional, fresh caught are all buzz words but what does it all mean? The Port Clyde Fresh Catch has partnered with the Island Institute and initiated some strong conservation measures, especially in the area of shrimping. However CSF’s do not as a rule regulate catching procedures. One of the main controversies is the type of species being offered, a number of which are listed on various red list maintained by such groups as Blue Ocean Institute and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program because of concerns about over-fishing, habitat impacts and mercury. The author Samuel Fromartz (Organic INC.) is taking a different approach with his SeaSA. Basically, a buyer’s club he intends to source only sustainable fish, regardless of the carbon footprint. An obvious example is fresh caught salmon from Alaska. You can read more about this effort by visiting his excellent blog ChewsWise. We are excited about these developments and will keep a watchful eye as this idea progresses. We intend to offer exciting add-ons to our CSA and Meat CSA such as Doe’s Leap goat cheese and Kefir, Vermont Coffee Co. coffee, etc. Why not fish someday?

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