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Community Supported Fishery

Community Supported Fishery

Photo by Douglas Gayeton

Community Supported Fishery

Location: Siren Sea SA, at Mission PIE pick-up location, San Francisco, CA

Featuring: Anna Larsen, founder of Siren Fish Co. 

A community supported fishery, a CSF, allows consumers to directly supports small fishing operations. Subscribers get scheduled deliveries of fresh fish — the contents vary each week, depending on what’s available, while fishermen get a better price on small batches and added stability when the market fluctuates. This symbiosis encourages fishermen to use sustainable methods while educating both fishermen and the community about issues in marine conservation.

Anna says a CSF is immune to the two greatest challenges facing the fishing industry: fraud and lack of accountability. Lack of transparency in supply chains and multiple trade names or single species make it very easy to market “trawl fish” as “hook and line,” or fish from a dirty farm as “wild caught.” On the contrary, in the CSF there is no middle man and, therefore, no room for misinformation to spread. When you see the Fish and Game tab and then inspect the fish straight from the dock, you know exactly what you are getting. Nothing beats from the sea to you.

Community Supported Fisheries: Siren Fish Co.

Community Supported Fisheries: Siren Fish Co.

In 2011, internet giant Google teamed up with local fishermen near their headquarters in Mountain View, California, to offer their employees an option for sustainable seafood. Employees signed up to receive a weekly supply of fresh, sustainably caught seafood through a Community Supported Fishery (CSF) program. Several years later over 200 employees had signed up, but the program came to a halt.
Anna Larsen, a food entrepreneur who was aware of the market for sustainable seafood, discovered this and was inspired. "Google’s problem," Larsen explains, "was that its CSF wasn’t charging its employees the true cost of the fish. They were selling fresh troll king fillets for $15 a pound. If you’re going to serve all fresh local fish, there’s no way you can do it at that price point.”

Larsen's CSF Siren Fish Co. now serves over 350 subscribers in the Bay Area.