Our Accomplishments This Year (So Far!)

Allison Hepworth - November 5, 2021

Between some brand new products, new pick-up locations, and Sonia’s work as an advocate for fair policy change, we’re incredibly proud of what we accomplished this year at Skipper Otto!

Some Highlights…

Back in March, we started offering Arctic char to our members, which marked a big first for Skipper Otto: supporting a fishing family based outside of BC. We had always dreamed that Skipper Otto would one day be able to support fishers on other coasts and we’re thrilled that, thanks to our friends at Lake to Plate, we were able to start by supporting Inuit fishing families in Nunavut! And while this was a big leap for Skipper Otto, we’re excited for what this really means for our mission of preserving traditional ways of life on Canadian coasts. Connecting Inuit fishing families to fair markets in the south and paying them fairly for their beautiful Arctic char felt like a natural step forward!

We also welcomed two brand new towns to our roster of pick-up cities, in Estevan, SK and South Slocan, BC! Along with 15 more new Community Partner locations in already existing pick-up cities like Metro Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Lethbridge, and Canmore, we’re excited to continue growing while offering more convenient pick-up locations for our members.

More Members and Fish Than Ever!

This year, over 3,700 brand new members joined Skipper Otto for the first time, bringing our total membership for the 2021 season to over 7,500 Canadian sustainable seafood-lovers across Canada. We’re continually inspired by all our members, from the first-timers who take the leap to source their seafood in such a unique way, to Skipper Otto veterans who have made a long-term commitment to affecting real change in our seafood system.

The number of Skipper Otto members for the 2021 season meant we bought a larger share of many of our fishers’ catch than ever before. And we set out to build relationships with brand new fishing families, too — 15 to be exact! We broadened and deepened relationships with Indigenous harvesters, listening carefully for how we could better support Indigenous fishing communities. In doing so, we learned about Indigenous Economic Opportunity fisheries, grew new friendships, and co-created new ways for the Skipper Otto model to improve wages and working conditions for Tseshaht and Hupacasath fishing families in Port Alberni.

Social impact

A big theme in Sonia’s work this year was social advocacy, both through her work building relationships with Indigenous fishing communities, and advocating for fair policy change. In light of DFO’s decision back in March to make freezing spot prawns at sea illegal, and their sudden decision to close 60% of BC salmon fishing while salmon season was already underway, Sonia spent much of this year being a voice for independent small-scale harvesters. She spoke at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, and at countless provincial and federal roundtables with MLAs, MPS, and Ministers, raising awareness about and bringing a stop to unjustified, unethical policy change that would threaten the livelihoods of fishing families in coastal and Indigenous communities.

And our members came through in a huge way, signing petitions and writing letters, helping bring about the temporary reversal of some policy changes. All this work is still ongoing, and there is much to be done, but knowing that our members are behind us in our fight for a more just seafood system gives us so much hope!

While 2021 is not quite over, we want to emphasize that none of these accomplishments would have been possible without our members. To all who joined us this year, thank you! Be proud of the impact you helped create! And we’d love to have you back aboard next season for another year of great seafood, stories, community, and justice!

Allison Hepworth - November 5, 2021

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Our Accomplishments This Year (So Far!)

Allison Hepworth - November 5, 2021

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