CSAs For Fruits De Mer

A friend of mine, who works in the sustainable food industry, was alarmed by my recent post on overfishing. Not alarmed to learn about the demise of marine ecosystems (she already knows all that), but alarmed by my lugubrious tone. What I’d intended to accomplish with the post was to add my voice to the cacophony of people talking, shouting, and debating the extent to which we’ve overfished the seas, and what we can do about it. What I’d actually done, she worried, was make the whole scenario seem overwhelmingly gloomy and doomy. Not – I agree with her here – the greatest catalyst for change.


How about naming a few specific examples of measures already being taken to stop overfishing, she suggested? How about CSFs?

CS whats, I asked?

CSFs, she said. Like community supported agriculture (CSA) organizations (those groups you can sign up for that deliver a box of locally, sustainably grown produce to your door once a week or month), but for seafood. CSFs – though each operates according to its own fishing ethics – attempt to meet the growing demand for locally, sustainably caught fish.

This friend, ahead-of-the-wave as she is, already belongs to a CSF called Cape Ann Fresh Catch, though the trend only really got going a year or so ago. Each week, she visits her local designated pick up spot, and collects that week’s fresh catch as well as suggested recipes. So far, this season, she’s raved about the CSFs haddock, cod, pollock, and hake.

Solutions, solutions, solutions.

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