In response to the stay-at-home and social distancing compliances called for during COVID-19, the Community-Supported Fishery (CSF) Dock to Dish has started a new service for New York State-certified wild seafood by shipping fresh fillets to your doorstep directly from the Montauk fishing fleet.
The mission of Dock to Dish has always been “To provide our members with the safest and most reliable access to fresh, premium, locally harvested, fully traceable seafood directly from the dock,” however – now it’s to your door.
Dock to Dish Co-Founder Sean Barrett explained, “We were working with the Long Island Commercial Fishermen’s Association Director Bonnie Brady, who we have worked with for many years, and when the pandemic hit we were trying to come up with ideas on how to create new distribution channels.”
Barrett elaborated, “We knew we needed to get fresh seafood directly from the fleet to the people, and about seven weeks ago after numerous strategy discussions with leaders and advocates of the fishing community, we came up with the idea to create a ‘no contact’ delivery system for fish fillets to go directly to our members’ doors. It has been a heavy lift for our team and a lot of high-pressure work designing and building a whole new e-commerce format and distribution system, but we are very proud to now be able to fulfill a community demand for fresh seafood using this new method that that was engineered for safety.”
“CSF programs, modeled after increasingly popular community-supported agriculture programs, offer members weekly shares of fresh seafood for a pre-paid membership fee. Community-Supported Fisheries aim to promote a positive relationship between fishermen, consumers, and the ocean by providing high-quality, locally caught seafood to members. CSF programs began as a method to help marine ecosystems recover from the effects of over-fishing, while maintaining a thriving fishing community.”
Further, “This is a genuine, supply-based ‘catch of the day’ format, in which the fishermen decide what species of fish is most abundant in the local ecosystem, and harvest those fish for members. Dock to Dish members may not request certain species, and, during peak seasons members may receive fillets or steaks of the same species of fish two weeks in a row.”
Dock to Dish confirms, “Eating with the ecosystem means matching [our] seafood consumption to the rhythms of nature and place. It means celebrating and respecting a region’s marine biodiversity by harvesting a diversity of seafood and respecting the unique seasonality of every species and fishery. It means appreciating the ocean as a complex ecological system and engaging and educating consumers to enable them to become conscious consumers of the ocean’s food production.”
As a typical recommended serving size per person is three ounces for lunch and five ounces for dinner one pound would yield two dinners and two lunches, however, pricing is per serving, and not per pound.
You simply enroll online, choose which month or months you would like either a Basic Share Membership (two pounds of fillets per week at $58.50), which is eight servings (two to four five-ounce dinner and two or four three-ounce lunch servings), or the Family Membership which is four pounds at a cost of $117.00 per week or 16 servings (eight dinner servings and eight lunch servings), “perfect for families of three and up, or the perfect size to split with a neighborhood family.” Every week you receive a no-contact delivery, and Dock to Dish advises that each delivery averages about $7.40 per serving.
Each week, the day before the delivery ships, Dock to Dish sends out emails with a detailed Dock Report which “Tells the story of your seafood, including what species you’ll get, which fisherman caught it, and other important information you need to know about your catch, including details directly from the fleet about how your seafood was caught, what the conditions were like out on the water, and, when possible, photos and videos. These reports will also include links to recipes and articles about sustainability.”
Additionally, “Becoming a member of Dock to Dish means becoming part of the Montauk fishing community by purchasing a share of local seafood in advance. This ‘CSA for fish’ concept was designed to reconnect the local community with Montauk fishermen. Simply activate your membership to receive the safest and freshest seafood available in New York State, delivered directly to you, right from the source.”
Among the numerous convictions Dock to Dish has practiced and maintained, it has always acted on the realization that “Community-based fisheries enhance the social, ecological, and cultural fabric of [our] coastal communities. At the heart of community-based fisheries are community-based fishermen who live and work in the communities where they fish. They are typically independent, owner-operators, and are inherently committed to the long-term health of the marine ecosystem. Seafood supply chains and policies should foster and strengthen community-based fisheries.”
Change and adaptation to our new normal is practiced by Dock to Dish, whose members acknowledge, “Building a better seafood system requires innovation, creativity, and thinking outside the box. It also requires that innovative ideas are not isolated but rather spread through a network of diverse stakeholders working together, aligning around shared values, and acting. Creativity and networking fosters knowledge sharing, collective understanding, and mentorship needed to build a better future.”
For more information or to become a member go to docktodish.com.