Community Supported Fisheries (CSFs)
Everybody knows someone who is “that guy.” You know who I mean: the guy who knows someone who is a fisherman and is able to go down to the dock and get the freshest fish, right off the boat. He always seems to know when the boats are coming in to unload and makes sure to be there at the appropriate time (which can be any hour of the day or night), a secret connection to this wonderful food source.
Up until now you either had be “that guy” or know “that guy” in order to get those fish or shrimp right off the boat. No longer. The CSF program makes it possible for anyone who wants to participate to become “that guy (or gal)’’ and have access to locally harvested seafood.
Yes, it is a little more work — the fish are whole and the shrimp are still in their shells. It takes practice to learn the skills to effectively fillet the fish or pick the shrimp, but there is a difference in freshness that those who currently subscribe to the CSF program have discovered, and that “that guy” and the fishermen have always known.
A friend of mine said to me that his wife was concerned after their first fish delivery. She said “this fish doesn’t smell like fish.” He patiently explained, “No, honey, really fresh fish do not have a fishy odor; they smell like fish are supposed to.”
The CSF supports our local economy: you know where your food comes from — the waters of the cold Atlantic, right off the coast of Maine — and that provides a level of freshness that up until now, only “that guy” or his or her friends have known about.
The CSF program has so far been a resounding success. The fishermen and the people of our area have a real “good news” story to talk about that is connected to fishing, as opposed to the continuous stream of bad news that has seemed to always be the case — until now. Our fishermen are very thankful for all of the support that this program has generated. There is hope in the fishing community once again, hope that this traditional way of life here in Maine can and will continue now and for the fishermen of the future here in Maine.
The concept of “community” is making this happen. A big thanks to all who have joined our CSF community, and we look forward to delivering fresh community supported seafood to even more folks in the near future.
Glen Libby is the President of The Midcoast Fishermen’s Association