There are a few other operations around the country comparable to Port Clyde Fresh Catch (http://www.portclydefreshcatch.com), but I didn't find another true community-supported fishery (CSF) where members pay in advance and take delivery regularly throughout the season. But as markets tighten, more fishermen are banding together for creative ways to reach a hungry -- and demanding -- public.
Catch a Piece of Maine (http://www.catchapieceofmaine.com), a group of seven lobstermen in Maine's Casco Bay, is an innovative, if expensive, program to deliver fresh lobsters by mail order from "your own personal lobsterman." In Carteret County, N.C., Carteret Catch (http://www.carteretcatch.com) is a brand name for high-quality fresh fish caught by local fishermen and made available in local restaurants and retail fish shops under that brand. At the same time, consumers are encouraged to link up with individual local fishermen in a program similar to a CSF, paying the fisherman in advance for a share of the catch.
In San Francisco, said Sara Randall, program director of the Institute for Fisheries Resources (http://www.ifrfish.org), plans are in the works to open a fresh seafood shop on Fisherman's Wharf that will be supplied entirely by local small-boat fishermen.
"I sense a burgeoning movement now across the U.S.," Randall said, "with forward-thinking fishermen and fishing organizations to create a more direct link between seafood consumers and their fishermen." In the future, she said, the Fisherman's Wharf shop may lead to a CSF.
-- Nancy Harmon Jenkins