If you follow us on social media, you may already know that we exceeded our goal of signing up 2800 members for our ten-year anniversary. We are grateful to every single one of our returning members, and we’re delighted to welcome our brand-new members into the Skipper Otto family.
This commitment from all of you has allowed us to buy more seafood from all of our fishing families and support their way of life. The fishing season is underway and we’re so excited to be feeding your families the very best of the 2019 catch!
Your membership gets you the best seafood Canada has to offer and so much more. It makes you part of a community that’s working hard to keep small-scale fishing alive. By joining this community, you make an important contribution to the social, cultural, and environmental value of the coastal fishery.
By buying directly from our 30 fishing families, Skipper Otto is able to offer them a fair price for their catch while also providing our members with reasonable pricing. This means the fishermen (our female fishermen use this term as well!) have a better chance to survive—and they need all the help they can get. Under the current system in British Columbia, the odds are stacked against them.
The fishing quota and licensing policy in British Columbia favours big operations and investors by allowing anyone, regardless of whether they set foot on a boat, to own a quota. These quotas are so valuable, they are bought and sold like hedge funds. About 70% of the value of a season’s catch goes to investors, leaving a measly 30% for those who depend on fishing for their livelihood. To top it off, the fisher families take all the risk.
By giving them a better price than they can get from other buyers, Skipper Otto helps level the playing field. In some instances, we’ve even managed to push the buying price up for everyone. And the Skipper Otto Community Supported Fishery has helped save fishing families from losing their shirts.
Take the recent story of Scott and Karen Lincez. When they went out to fish for spot prawns this season, they had two main buyers: Skipper Otto and a conventional buyer for the international market. At the eleventh hour, their conventional buyer halved the amount they were willing to pay for their portion of Scott and Karen’s catch. Suddenly Scott and Karen couldn’t cover the expenses they’d already incurred.
But the Skipper Otto community came through. Our incredible members increased their buy of spot prawns, which meant that Scott and Karen received a living wage for a greater amount of their catch.
I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that we are able to make a difference. We started Skipper Otto because we wanted to support independent fishing in British Columbia. And your participation as members is a vital part of making that happen. So thank you, and here’s to another season of fabulous seafood.
If you’re interested in joining as a member when sign up season opens again in October, register here.
Sonia - June 19, 2019
The Impact of Your 2019 Membership
Sonia - June 19, 2019