Getting the Community Onboard
Glen and Tracy Hill along with Andrew Tobin and Suzie McEnally travelled to the USA last February, partly funded by the FRDC, to attend a conference run by Local Catch.org. The organisation is a network of community supported fisheries (CSF) and small-scale harvesters, with a view to bringing back ideas and sharing them with the wider seafood industry.
They also visited a small coastal fishery in Oregon that has a successful CSF, met local fishers and visited a range of seafood businesses in the region.
The overriding message was that the social license to operate was fundamental to fishers getting a fair price for their fish and wider community support for their fishing businesses to remain a viable. It involves having a direct relationship with the consumer, ensuring fishers and their families remain an integral part of those communities.
How they go about it depends on who identifies and tackles the problem first.