Community Supported Fishery
1. Off the Hook is financially
successful, providing
meaningful work with
legitimate wages for
generations to c...
Off the Hook Locations

Nova Scotia’s Willing to Pay More
for Sustainable Seafood
Off the Hook vs Wharf Landings

Gear type:
gear not
Community Supported Fishery
Off the Hook: Community Supported Fishery
Off the Hook: Community Supported Fishery
Off the Hook: Community Supported Fishery
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Off the Hook: Community Supported Fishery


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  • -What is a CSF.
    -Modeled on the CSA - there are variations on the theme, but the basic model is pay at the beginning of the season and get a share of veggies delivered to your door. Same with fish…For small farms - Help pay for inputs need at the start of the season, shares the risk with the customer - take what you get, connection between producer and consumer,
    -First one in Port Clyde, Maine.
    -Now there are 14 or 15 - north east coast of the states, NC, a couple new ones in California - in Canada there is us - first or alomost, salmon in BC, and a small one in north manitoba
  • -Is a for-profit co - operative with five founding board members - the fishermen
    -In the off season we worked hard to start figuring out the best governance structure, goals, visions, where we want to be in 5 years - this is very new to the fishing members
  • Celebrating 40 years - 7 committees
    MIC after groundfish collapse - mandate -work locally nationally internationally to conserve and protect the marine ecocsystem, maintain sustainable fishin and vibrant coatal communities sub sections - coastal livelihoods, sus fisheries and aqua, fisheries policy, MSP, sust seafood
    OTH - support low impact gear types through helping fishermen get their products into the market, policy work, keep our coastal communities vibrant and resilient, incorporate seafood into the region/country’s local food vision and movement - fish is food; use OTH to leverage policy changes and to create dialogue about what is happening with our fisheries - our members, media, relatioships between fishers and their families and environmentalists, shoppers, policy makers,
  • -CSF model popped out as interesting - speaking to changing the food system, getting fish into the local food movement
    -supporting local and clearly knowing where their fish was coming from - that they could trust they were supporting local community and environmentally friendly practices - trust. Our systems have become so complex - different labels and marketing - people want to do the right thing, but don’t always trust what they are being told.
    No question here - meet them face to face - show the map, see the whole fish
    Other major finding - number one reason that fishing or direct marketing co-ops have failed is having noone paid to manage the co-op
    -During the course of the research we talked to fishermen from the Fundy Fixed Gear association - worked with them for many years - established relationship, Carolea, Chris - share a similar mindset in the type of fishing that we should be supporting in NS. Chris was really interested - get some fellas who were looking to try something new, willing to take a risk and think outside the box, conversations over the course of almost a year and slow the idea germinated..
    So - the relationship between EAC nad OTH -is that we are manage the day to day of co-op, they are the board, etc. Advantages - rural-urban relationship, networks, marketing experience, media relationships, and access to funding -
    -eventually OTH will be self sufficient, but like any small business the first few years there is loans or grants needed to get off the ground- EAC partnership opened up more lead for that.
    -EAC is it is part of our mandate - we believe it is absolutely imperative to maintain low-impact fishing gear - the knowledge and the fishers on the water - once their gone it is very hard to bring them back
    -owner-operator fleet makes up the backbone of our rural communities and is being lost through market squeeze and policies. We need to keep diversification in our fleets and in the species that are available - biodiveristy
    -we have always worked to make sure NS have sustainable job options - that how we make a living is not overly damamging the ecosystems we rely on.
  • Fixed gear not mobile
  • -basics - subscribe for 8 weeks - get about 5 lbs or 10 lbs per week - whole, gutted, delivered to a central location - you have a two hour window to pick up your fish. Meet the guys, see where they fished that week, a mix of different groundifsh. Support for working with whole fish - filleting work shops - how to, recipes, community to share with - learn skills as well
    -of course, the fish is very high quality - freshest most people ever taste - people have forgotten - long supply chain - back and forth to china if frozen, in grocery store - 5-6 days at least - central distribution - our target is 24 hours from wharf to you - no fish smell, of course no bruising
  • In urban community
    relationships of trust built on both sides
    Fishermen had never met people who eat their fish - felt more responsible for the quality of their fish, explaining everything, handling etc
    And the consumer felt more responsibility - know who they are supporting, loved hearing the stories
    Also within our subscribers - a community formed - sharing recipes, people having fish parties
  • Not the answer to all the inshore owner operator fleet issues, but a piece of the puzzle and definitely making a difference to folks on each end of the supply chain
  • Off the Hook: Community Supported Fishery

    1. 1. Community Supported Fishery
    2. 2. Objectives 1. Off the Hook is financially successful, providing meaningful work with legitimate wages for generations to come. 2. Off the Hook’s sustainable fishing practices contribute to ecological restoration and protection. 3. Off the Hook’s sustainable fishing and business practices inspire smarter government policy and fisheries management. 4. Off the Hook is widely known for top quality products and loyal customers.
    3. 3. Off the Hook Locations 4
    4. 4. Nova Scotia’s Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Seafood
    5. 5. Off the Hook vs Wharf Landings 6
    6. 6. Gear type: Fixed gear not mobile (more sustainabl e)
    7. 7. 8
    8. 8. 10
    9. 9. Community Supported Fishery
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