Monday, February 16, 2009

Community-Supported Fisheries

Port Clyde, a small fishing village (at a population of 1000, it's only a little bigger than Sointula) off the coast of Maine, has found an innovative (and sustainable!) way to save its local fishing economy: community supported fisheries. The idea behind community supported fisheries is simple: people in the community pay a local fishing cooperative an up-front fee to receive a weekly ration of the in-season catch (shrimp in the winter and groundfish in the summer). Fishermen get a higher price for their product (because they have eliminated the middle-men buyers and sellers who take their own cut of the profits), and the community gets a weekly supply of fresh-caught seafood.

The Port Clyde fishermen's cooperative recognizes the integral role of healthy oceans in a thriving economy, and each member of the cooperative has agreed to fish according to certain practices of sustainability, such as choosing fishing gear that offers lower bycatch and supporting seasonal fishing closures. You can read more about the Port Clyde cooperative in this Washington Post article.

Would this type of community-supported fishery work here on the North Island? Why or why not?


  1. Coastal Maine is fairly similar to the North Island in a few ways - small populations spread out over large amounts of land, big cities several hours to the south, and economies that historically have been highly dependent on natural resources. In other words, it's not like these are fishermen who fish out of Boston harbor - these are small, often isolated, rural communities supporting these fishermen. If CSF works well in Maine, it could definitely be applicable to the North Island.

  2. Please show support for sustainable food at They arent asking for $, just names to show Congress that there's broad support.