Monday, March 24, 2008

Farm Share or Fish Share?

My friend Annie works at a non-profit called The Island Institute, which is dedicated to maintaining the lifestyle of rural island communities in Maine. She recently sent me this article from the Christian Science Monitor about Community Supported Fisheries (CSFs) which are much like CSAs. Her foundation recently hosted an information session about them.

The fishermen in the program use ground net fishing, which with the wrong nets and on a big enough scale can be incredibly devastating to the sea floor. I asked Annie about this, and she told me that they are very careful about the nets and techniques that they use.

So if you live near the coast and like seafood, you should see if there is a CSF starting up in your area. If not there are a number of direct marketers hellbent on FedExing you fresh caught seafood, some of which is sustainably harvested.

Some CSFs:
Carteret County North Carolina
Port Clyde Draegerman's CoOp in Maine

And everyone can get involved in these (Which is a long way from what the Community I think about when I think Community Supported Fishery):
Alaska Marine Conservation Council
Your very own lobster pot
The White Boot Brigade Shrimp from Louisiana

Update: Annie read what I wrote and wanted to clarify: although the fishers in the area are working towards having the most sustainable ground fishing practices they can, this is an ongoing process. There is scientific data being collected, new nets being manufactured, legislation being considered, you name it. But the will is there and the fishers are dedicated to making it happen.

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