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“IF THERE’S ONE THING I feel most conflicted about eating, it’s seafood. My biggest guilty pleasure is built on one of the most unsustainable food industries on our blue planet. Scummy fish farms, excessive by-catch, destructive bottom trawls, inhumane shrimp—the list goes on and on.
Luckily, for people like me, there is a new solution to the problem-ridden industry. Community Supported Fisheries, or CSFs for short, offer the best way of getting my fish fix and signal the dawn of a new era for seafood.
Much like their terrestrial counterparts, CSAs that offer fresh produce from farmers on a weekly to monthly basis, CSFs are based on the direct producer-to-consumer model. The middlemen that handle the packaging, processing, and shipping are scratched from the equation. The model ensures farmers and fishing folk receive a fair price for their work and provides the capital upfront. From there, the company (or sometimes co-op) can plan for costs before the season begins. For fishermen, this usually means acquiring a licence, buying gear, and maintaining their boats. Once the season kicks off—a date that varies for each type of fish or shellfish—the fishers catch their quota, return to the docks, and hand the product to the consumer within days of the harvest.”