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A little over a year ago Walking Fish was just an idea with an intent to increase consumers’ access to local seafood, offer fisherman a better price for their product, and engage and spark a dialog about local food systems, fisheries, marine conservation, and community development. Today the organization is in the middle of its second straight sold out season and is one of the largest community-supported fisheries projects in the country.
Based on the successful, and in the Triangle familiar, community-supported agriculture model, Walking Fish’s more than 400 members each purchase a share for the season, and every week roughly 1,000 pounds of fresh caught seafood is delivered from Carteret County to Durham. Walking Fish shares come in a variety of types and sizes; shares are available weekly or bi-weekly, headed and gutted or filleted, and in two different sizes, full (~4 lbs) and half (~2 lbs). Shares for the current 10 week season ranged from $60 to $360. Hopefully there is a share that suits everyone.
Walking Fish’s inaugural season was able to showcase the diversity and flavor of North Carolina’s fisheries by providing its members with 10 different species, already this spring three new species have been added to the mix, with more hopefully to come. Each week’s share is caught on Monday and Tuesday, processed on Wednesday and delivered to Durham on Thursday, providing one of the freshest seafood experiences possible, outside of catching your own of course.
The reception in the Triangle has been amazing. The excitement and support of Walking Fish members, local chefs, and the Triangle community generally has been both humbling and inspiring. The interest and demand have proven dramatic; with two sold out seasons, local, regional, and national media attention, a 2009 Sustainable North Carolina Award, and a great reception at the 2010 Farm to Fork Picnic.
On the coast Walking Fish has been able to work with a variety of different fishermen and to consistently provide them with a price above that of the market each week. Walking Fish is beginning to be able to provide a small amount of certainty in the uncertain world of fishing.
Walking Fish’s work is just beginning and hopefully will continue to build on the project’s early success and continue to demonstrate that fish and fishermen can be and are an important part of the local food system. Walking Fish hopes to show that locally relevant strategies to sustain healthy fisheries and the people that depend on them are possible, and that you can and should be able to feel good about the seafood you eat. For more information please visit www.walking-fish.org
or contact Henry Coppola at firstname.lastname@example.org 301.244.9066.