Independent Fisherman Stays Afloat With Community Supported Fishery (CSF)


Photo of Skipper Otto by Shaun Strobel

We TreeHuggers are fans of purchasing our food from as close to the producer as possible. Up here in the great white north this means buying our free-trade organic bananas at a retailer, that probably got them from a wholesaler, who, hopefully, bought them direct from the banana farmer or farmer coop. But, with food that can be grown, raised or caught closer to home our favorite way to buy food we don't grow ourselves is through what we'll call community supported buying.

The most common form of this is community supported agriculture, which we've talked about many times before. I was excited to find another option will be starting up in my neck of the woods this upcoming season. Read on to find out about Skipper Otto's Community Supported Fishery. Otto is a retired high-school chemistry teacher who has been fishing the BC coast for over four decades. With ever rising costs his family realized that the CSA model could be easily applied to fishing, to help keep Otto and other independent fishers on the water. Subscribers to the program pay $250 at the start of the season and get about 35 pounds "of the best quality whole, fresh and/ or frozen salmon that is available that season direct from the fisherman." This comes out to about $7/lb which we think is a pretty good deal.

Here's Otto on why he's launching a CSF.

Since [the 1960's] the number of independent fishermen [on the BC coast] has been reduced to a skeleton fleet. As aquaculture and the corporate Seine fleet provide for most of the salmon now coming from our coast, the CSF model seems to us to be one way to try to allow a few of the hold out independents to stay in the fishery.

Otto is not the only fisherman practicing a community supported fishery, although he's the first one I've heard of on the BC coast. If you subscribe to a CSF let us know about it.

Skipper Otto's CSF
More on Community Supported Food
From Community Supported Agriculture to a Community Supported Kitchen
CSA Locator on the TreeHugger Forums
Community Supported Agriculture in Downtown Manhattan
Australian Community Foods - Eating Locally
Grain Shipped Under Sail Reduces Carbon Footprint

Tags: Fish | Fishing | Local Food | Oceans

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