Local fishermen and small-scale fishing operations have seen plenty of ups and downs over the years, but also just different strategies for bringing their product to market. For a while local farmers’ markets were giving way to Community Seafood collectives, but that trend seems to have reversed itself, or at least stabilized. This 2015 article from the National Resource Defense Council discusses some of these trends in greater detail and, for the most part, still holds true today.
Local Trends and Featured Organizations
With this in mind, there are plenty of CSFs around the country. New Hampshire Community Seafood is one of the largest in the country. Ocean to Table in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties is another good example of a CSF. The thing is, nowadays, CSFs are a more loosely defined collection of community associations, social media, and tech companies that are looking to connect local fisherman with more direct retail sales. This trend toward convenience and delivery services is a big part of this new wave of sustainable and CSF-like seafood companies. Seattle may be best known for its Pike Place Market, but the Seattle Fish Company provides overnight delivery to local retail customers.
That said, Lake to Table is also about expanding the fresh fish opportunities beyond coastal towns and cities. In Bailey’s Harbor, there is the 2018 Lake to Table culinary event to help mark the beginning of the fishing season for local fishermen. In a different part of the country, Frisky Fresh Fish has helped bring regular direct-from-Alaska seafood deliveries to the Salt Lake City area and is expected to have strong demand again this year. This is another service in which you can easily shop for sustainable, seasonally-available fish and get it delivered right to your door.
In other areas, Lake to Table opportunities are available right alongside more traditional seafood offerings. Like many fish markets along the Great Lakes, the Erie Fish Market has fresh Lake Erie Walleye, Lake Erie Yellow Perch, and Lake Superior Whitefish right alongside other seafood.
Another Industry Facing Disruption?
Then, there are also companies that are trying to take the Lake to Table vibe national. By freezing the fish while it’s still at peak freshness, Sea to Table is an online shopping and seafood delivery service that is working to expand throughout the U.S.
Local Catch, on the other hand, is an online resource that can help you find fresh, local sources of seafood near where you live. This collective organization is “committed to providing local, healthful, low-impact seafood via community supported fisheries and direct marketing arrangements.”
At Fish House Stanley Park, we’re interested in the various ways that people can find more local, more sustainable, and more enjoyable seafood. We also encourage people to discover a love of fishing itself and the satisfaction that comes with catching and preparing your own fish. We’re looking forward to promoting sustainable fishing, community seafood, and individual fishermen this upcoming year.