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CSF’s: Community Supported Fisheries

When Bon Appetit names something the “#1 trend for 2012,” you know it’ll be big. Which is why we’re psyched to discover that they, and so many others, are getting on board with Community Supported Fisheries. Similar to vegetable CSAs, CSFs are subscription-based services that bring fresh seafood right from the docks directly to consumers (a set up we’re pretty familiar with ourselves). The beauty of these programs is that they’re helping consumers peek behind the curtain of the seafood industry, so to speak, by allowing them direct access to the men and women who are physically hauling in the catch. It’s also allowing fishermen to create more sustainable work systems for themselves. Locally, we’re lucky enough to have programs like Cape Ann CSF, Port Clyde Fresh Catch and the Cape Code CSF, but we’re seeing the trend pop up in different iterations around the country. If you’re near one of these guys, we highly recommend you take a look.

— Landlubber Fish Programs
One of New England’s coolest cheesemonger’s has started a fishmonger program out in Western, MA. At Great Barrington’s Rubiner’s Cheesemongers and Grocers, they’re bringing in a weekly selection of seafood and have created a genius service: Rubi’s Friday Night Oyster Bar (usually from 5 to 11 pm with oysters and clams on the half shell). Sign up for their weekly newsletters for more info: [email protected]

— The direct-to-chef CSF
Charleston, S.C. fisherman Mark Marhefka created Abundant Seafood to eliminate the middle man — namely large-scale seafood distribution centers. He now supplies a few restaurants in Charleston (FIG, McCrady’s) with locally caught seafood but also has 120 retail customers who pick up a monthly subscription from him directly. (The NY Times gave him some nice coverage a few years back.) Closer to home, Trace and Trust in Rhode Island is directly supplying a number of New England restaurants with fish caught right off the RI coast.

Erin Byers Murray‘s most recent book is “Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm“.  Her work has appeared in Food & Wine Magazine, Body + Soul, Boston Magazine, the Boston Globe, and many more publications.

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