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When you think of local foods and healthy eating- how often do you include seafood?

Hey there farmers!  I'm up here in Maine and I live and work in a fishing community.  Our local seafood is sustainably caught and super yummy.  I run a grassroots marketing initiative for Maine's seafood and commercial fishing industry- including some work with local farmers.  So, my question to you is, how often does seafood come up in your plan to buy and eat local and fresh?  Here in Maine we work hard to make sure that seafood is included when we are talking about a local food system... so what about all of you out there?

Tags: fish, food, fresh, healthy, local, seafood, sustainable, system

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As OFTEN as possible!! It's actually interesting... when we lived on the Pacific Coast, it was hard to find LOCAL seafood!! Finding seafood caught in the bay where we lived was HARD!! Crab and Oyster were easier to find locally. I bought from the markets that sold locally caught.

Maryland is just starting to realize that oyster farming is a much healthier way to feed ourselves from the Chesapeake Bay. I usually don't eat shellfish, but this new system has got me trying them more now! Here's an article from local free magazine Urbanite about the new beginnings of Maryland oyster farming > http://www.urbanitebaltimore.com/baltimore/betting-on-the-half-shel...

 

 

Always! For years, I've only consumed seafood marked sustainable. (I use the wallet card from Shedd Aquarium or Monterey Bay.) Honestly though, I only recently started thinking about sustainable seafood + local seafood. That limits the pool a bit.

Here in Maine we are always trying to remind people to think of seafood as part of our local food system because our local seafood is very sustainable.  Our fishermen adhere to practices that ensure our fish stocks remain abundant.  

Make sure when you use tools such as Seafood Watch that you are taking into account local fisheries- often larger references such as Seafood Watch, paint with broad strokes and also do not take into account the carbon footprint of seafood that has to travel.   Also, there are so many "certifications" out there right now it is becoming difficult to differentiate between all of them- and they each have their own set of standards. 

A great practice is just to learn about seafood in your area, when seafoods are in season (yes! fish has seasons too) and research where the best place to find that seafood is- the same way you might look for a local butcher or farmer!  Fishchoice.com allows fishermen to register their businesses and might be a good place to start.

 

Holy cow - I've never thought of  what the local seafood would be in my area.  I'm originally from Massachusetts so I always get the types of seafood I grew up with.  Now I see what you mean - I need to know what's local, sustainable, and fresh in my area (upstate NY).  I need to do some research!

 

Can't wait to check out fishchoice. Thanks for the tip!
A book to check out is World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky.  It is actually a "children's" book but it has amazing stories and facts about the ocean and fishing.  He is very accurate and to the point in regards to how we should look at commercial fishing and sustainable options.  Currently, fishermen and scientists are more at odds instead of in collaboration.  Kurlansky says, "The fact is that fishermen need to know almost everything about fish in order to do a good job of catching them, and no one has a deeper involvement in or greater concern for the preservation of fish populations."  And remember too that there are more sustainable farmed fish than others- some aquaculture operations require huge quantities of wild prey fish to be caught and used as feed.  Lots to keep in mind!  :)

Living in the mountains and far, far, far away from the ocean it saddens me that I can't and don't consider seafood as a local source of food for me anymore. I grew up in the North Bay and local seafood was a staple in my diet!

 

On another cool note, I was at a Farmers Market meeting for the State of Colorado a month or two ago and a really cool farmers market marketing group was sharing about a CSA Fishery that started up in their market which is in New Orleans. Seafood CSA. Brilliant! And I'm envious!

 

Appreciate that you are advocating and raising awareness for this sector! Good luck~

Kristie

Hi Kristie- I'm sorry I am just now noticing and replying to your post.  Community support fisheries (CSF) are becoming quite popular around the Northeast.  Maine has quite a few and Connecticut just started their first!

You can check out the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) page for more information about CSF's and where they are popping up!  Psyched to hear they are trying it out elsewhere too!  Keep me posted about this.  Thanks! 


Kristie Nackord said:

Living in the mountains and far, far, far away from the ocean it saddens me that I can't and don't consider seafood as a local source of food for me anymore. I grew up in the North Bay and local seafood was a staple in my diet!

 

On another cool note, I was at a Farmers Market meeting for the State of Colorado a month or two ago and a really cool farmers market marketing group was sharing about a CSA Fishery that started up in their market which is in New Orleans. Seafood CSA. Brilliant! And I'm envious!

 

Appreciate that you are advocating and raising awareness for this sector! Good luck~

Kristie

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