As you know, I am a huge fan of Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs), and the state of Maine. I’ve been reading a lot about variations on the CSA theme. Yesterday, the NY Times published an article about weekly pick-up programs for fresh fish that truly help sustain fishing villages. Patricia Leigh Brown writes about Port Clyde Fresh Catch, started a few years ago by fisherman Glen Libby in Port Clyde, Maine (clearly a story after my own heart).
In an effort to protect over-fished populations, many government regulations have hurt the commercial fishing industry. Mr. Libby came up with the idea to sell directly to consumers on a subscription basis to help pull his community together. Mr. Libby’s idea was to turn the business on its head and sell a “mixed bag” directly to consumers, just like CSAs, instead of via wholesalers. The beauty of it is that the fisherman can catch local fish that are sustainable, not just the high-demand fish like cod, haddock, etc. The bonus for consumers is that they’ll be introduced to new fish and seafood, much like I am confronted with never-prepared vegetables before from my CSA, AND will consume responsibly caught fish. More opportunity to experiment and learn for the home cook – all in a way that helps the local community and our maritime friends. Win-win.