Dock to Dish is connecting chefs and seafood consumers to small-scale local fishermen and their catches. This model of community-supported fishing (CSF) cuts out the convoluted and sometimes sketchy international seafood processors and industrial fishers in favor of a direct relationship with local fishermen and more sustainable seafood selections. The results are health, equity and sustainability—a model for all organizations with similar goals.
Dock to Dish began as a small mission-driven community supported fishery program headquartered in the historic fishing port of Montauk, New York. Founded in 2012, they worked closely with the Concerned Citizens of Montauk Association to establish the original Dock to Dish program because they were determined to fix the broken local food system. From the very start, their primary purpose was to restore source transparency into the seafood marketplace and bring back our long-lost Know Your Fisherman culture—with the goal being that one day everyone would again be able to know exactly who caught what.
They began by creating basic transparency programs that were designed to reconnect their small-scale fishery directly to the local community in sustainable seafood sourcing cooperatives. They soon discovered that by using this membership-based organizational blueprint, modeled after the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) concept, Dock to Dish programs had begun to innovate an entirely new economic model for wild local seafood.
Today the mission, methods and philosophy of Dock to Dish are driving dramatic changes in the domestic marketplace and shifting the seafood paradigm internationally. They are pioneering a revival of place-based culinary practices among all of their participating members, and with many of their peers. Their cooperative members are now able to live track, trace and learn all about the artisanal fishermen who are catching and landing their hauls; Dock to Dish is restoring transparency and accountability into an otherwise opaque, globalized and often fraudulent seafood marketplace.