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Seafood: Buy Local, Buy Sustainable

July 15, 2014

CSFs connect local fishermen directly with seafood lovers while putting more money into the pockets of the fishing families who caught the fish

Port Orford Sustainable Seafood (POSS) was formed in 2009 as a way to keep power in the hands of local fishermen. The existing system here in Port Orford was comprised of only two corporate buyers. This made fair competition almost impossible, as well as eliminating any monetary reward for making sacrifices in the name of marine stewardship. This system also limited access to local seafood. Even though it was caught in our own small town, it all left on a truck and became mystery fish.

In the beginning, we marketed fish at a handful of retail outlets, several high-end restaurants, and attended farmers markets in the Rogue Valley each week. Attending farmers markets was refreshing because we were being told by the public something that is rarely heard: "Thank you for fishing!" These early relationships are connections we maintain, and they have helped us engage consumers in conversations about marine stewardship. After all, the ocean is a public resource - it’s as much yours as it is mine. Fishermen are just licensed agents to access seafood for you.

The idea of a Community Supported Fishery (CSF) was adapted from the Community Supported Agriculture model (CSA). CSFs connect local fishermen directly with seafood lovers while puting more money into the pockets of the fishing families who caught the fish. Members of the CSF pre-pay for a share of fresh, local, line-caught seafood. The concept of a CSF aims to reconnect communities to their local food system, encourage sustainable fishing practices, and strengthen relationships between fishermen and communities.

Our fish have a compelling story that is worth hearing, and we know that there are people who care about the story of their food. We also know that keeping our catch here and processing it ourselves adds value to our fish and benefits the community. It also allows us to keep track of when, where, and by whom our fish is caught, adding depth and texture to the story of the fish on your dinner plate.

Get more information at Port Orford Sustainable Seafood »