Did you hear the news? CSAs aren’t just for farms anymore. There’s a community-supported fishery (CSF) that’s starting out of Gloucester called Cape Ann Fresh Catch. They’re offering shares of fresh whole fish caught by real local fisherman to be picked up in the Boston area. Thanks to Boston Localvores for getting the word out.
Is this not the awesomest idea? I get so frustrated living as close as we do to the ocean and yet struggling to be able to buy local fish. Where does it all go? Japan, I hear. Makes me want to turn to piracy. Aaaaarghh. But since airborne piracy sometimes goes by another name (i.e., terrorism), a CSF is probably a better choice.
Much like CSAs, the idea is to mobilize a group of committed consumers who pay for their shares ahead of time, thereby guaranteeing buyers and a fairer price than the fishermen might otherwise get in a fickle market. The benefits and some of the risk are shared between the provider and the consumer. The fishermen then work with the weather and subjective patterns of nature to catch what makes sense, not just what will fetch the highest price. They also have the flexibility to experiment with more sustainable fishing practices. For more on how local fishermen hope this will keep their industry afloat while up against the ocean-sweeping big guys, read this article in the Globe.
Needless to say, I’m on board. If you do the math, it’s a good deal ($5-$7/lb. if you subtract out the bones). Here’s the info:
Cape Ann Fresh Catch
- 12-week subscription starts in early June
- May include fresh haddock, cod, flounder, hake, dabs, grey sole, monkfish, pollock, redfish, clams, lobsters, scallops
- Fish comes whole (cleaned and gutted, but not filleted)
- Half share: $180 (4-6 lbs per week)
- Full share: $360 (8-12 lbs per week)
Sign up here.