Northshore Magazine

Northshore November 2019

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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and many environmental groups cite decreas- es in fish stocks. Many fishermen blame what they call short-sighted federal regulations. Climate change likely plays a role. Everyone agrees, however, that the changes have caused hardship for fishermen. Fishing is no longer a generational pursuit, a career passed on from father to son, notes Marshall. Many have left, and those that remain struggle with limited catches and constant uncertainty. "The fishing industry in Gloucester has been challenging for the fishermen for many years now," Marshall says. "Fishermen are underpaid and overworked and it's still a dangerous job with lots of rules and regulations." Cape Ann Fresh Catch emerged as a way to help these fishermen. The idea was born as a collaboration between the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA), a Gloucester-based sustainable fishing nonprofit, and the Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Association, a local nonprofit that advocates for measures to preserve fish stocks, protect the ocean environment, and support those who bring home the catch. The idea was to create a market—and a fair price—for not just crowd-pleasers like cod but bycatch species as well. Without demand, these extra fish get thrown back, wasting fishermen's time and money. Finding a way to create demand for them would make fishing less financially unstable, the nonprofits reasoned. "If our goal is to reduce our impacts on the ocean, yet still have seafood, we felt we needed to honor whatever is caught and pay them a fair price," says NAMA director Niaz Dorry. "We wanted to show the fishermen that there's a community that cares for them." They drew inspiration from the model of community-supported agriculture, in which subscribers pay upfront for a weekly box of whatever produce is ready for harvest. Similarly, community-supported fishery subscribers pay upfront for weekly deliveries of fresh catch, from the familiar like haddock to the lesser-known like hake. Cape Ann Fresh Catch delivered its first shares in June 2009, making it just the second community-supported fishery in the country. Each week subscribers receive an email detailing what species they will receive and from what boat it came from. The email also includes a recipe to help familiarize people with the potentially new species. One pound of fillets costs per week is $15, two pounds per week costs $28, and a delivery of whole fish is priced at $24. "It's local fish caught by local boats," Marshall says. "You're getting the freshest fish possible." Gloucester subscribers receive their shares delivered right to their door. Customers in other towns pick up from one of nearly 20 distribution sites across eastern Massachusetts, from Beverly to Bolton. The pick-up locations are generally businesses or organizations that, like Cape Ann Fresh Catch, want to support local economies and food. Gourmet food store Formaggio Kitchen partnered with the community-supported fishery because its mission includes bringing

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