An exciting new movement is taking place around the United States: local fishermen catching local fish for local consumption!
OK, so it’s not that new, actually this is the way fisheries operated for thousands of years, and yet it might be the key to the future sustainability of our coastal resources and economic resilience of our coastal human communities.
All around the country, small-scale local fishermen were finding it harder to make a living trying to compete with larger operations; they couldn’t go out as far, stay out as long, and wouldn’t produce enough revenue to offset their costs. So they decided to try another approach, only catch abundant, nearby species. This would be easier and cheaper for the fishermen, and no one resource would be over-exploited. But they also have to find people to buy this unpredictable catch.
This is were the community support comes in: the non-fishermen of the community (consumers, hotels, restaurants, local processors) have to be willing to buy whatever comes in. Ultimately fishermen are going to catch whatever people are buying, so what we eat determines what we fish. Even as simple fish consumers, we can have an active role in our local fisheries, and support our local fishermen in the process.