Community Supported Ingenuity

Durham residents brave cold winter rain to get their Walking Fish delivery. Image credit: Ben Young Landis

Up and down the East Coast, something fishy is happening in local communities.  People gathering at Harvard University to pick up freshly caught cod and pollock.  A truck pulling up to an inland Maine church to deliver shrimp from nearby Port Clyde.

It’s all part of a movement called “community supported fisheries,” or CSF for short. Riding on the wave of the local food movement, CSFs are being billed as a solution to bring more income to struggling fishing communities while educating their urban customers on the quality and diversity of affordable, local seafood. With media coverage from the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post, CSF is now a new buzzword in town.

Community supported fisheries have a surprisingly young history, one that shows how whole communities — commercial anglers, neighborhood organizers, academics, students — have found themselves working on common ground.

Reading the Journal and the Post, you might think the story begins far away in the cold waters of Massachusetts and Maine. But surprisingly, it all started with a North Carolina Fishery Resource Grant project…

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