Tuesday, July 2, 2013

From the Boat to Your Plate

This week I was able to spend two days with Sarah Van Horn (who was a Doyle fellow last summer!) and Josh Wiersma (the NH Groundfish Sectors Manager).  The pair have started a Community Supported Fishery (CSF), NH Community Seafood.  The CSF allows community members to purchase a share of fresh fish brought to them at a convenient drop-off location once a week.  The share members can sign up for a full share or half share of underdog and/or groundfish.  A half share will give the consumer a pound of fish, and a full share two pounds.  The type of fish rotates each week based on what the fishermen the CSF is working with are catching.  The over-arching idea of this CSF is to link the fishermen directly with local market.  This keeps the catch local, and will hopefully increase the demand for fresh, local fish. By selling the fish locally, it is fresh and therefore better in taste and worth more without the expense of shipping the fish.  Ultimately, by utilizing local markets the fishermen will hopefully be able to make more money off their catch and stay fishing through challenging times.

Josh Weirsma and Sarah Van Horn. Photo courtesy of Gabriela Bradt.

I was able to accompany Sarah on two drop-offs, one in Dover and another in Rye.  Almost all of the people who arrived to pick up their fish made extremely positive remarks on the fish the had received the prior week.  The best comment to hear was, "Fresh fish just tastes so much better!"; we heard this multiple times and loved hearing that people are seeing how great seafood is when it goes straight from the boat to the plate.  The shareholders reacted with large grins when Sarah and I were able to tell them the fish they were about to enjoy was caught by fisherman David Goethel on the F/V Ellen Diane only one day earlier in Hampton Harbor.

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