Thinking Outside the Fishbox: Innovative Ideas for Overcoming the Challenges Fishermen Face Selling their Catch from Boat-to-Fork

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One rapidly growing approach to support both healthy fisheries and fishing communities is the promotion of local seafood, via direct marketing arrangements such as Community Supported Fisheries (CSF). CSFs are a strategy based on the Community Supported Agriculture model in which fishermen sell their catch directly to consumers. In this study, previously identified barriers impeding the growth and long-term economic sustainability of these systems are ranked through pairwise comparison of discrete choices undertaken by members of the network. The resulting top 5 barriers are:

(1) Gaining access to processing, storage, and/or markets. (2) Setting prices for catch that are fair to both fishermen and customers. (3) Balancing the extra time and energy required for marketing with the need to leave flexibility for good fishing days or doing other things. (4) Creating the most value for product after accounting for the costs of distribution, processing, and coordination. (5) Selling catch to institutions such as hospitals and schools.

This study aims to facilitate innovative problem solving to identified top barriers by soliciting solution proposals from a variety of disciplines, to be unconstrained by the experiences, histories and understanding of those presently immersed in fisheries. I identified speakers through a combination of solution proposal selection and individual solicitation. All speakers were non-fishermen, and only one speaker is currently involved in running an alternative marketing arrangement. Each speaker presented their pitch to the network via a webinar in April 2017 as a first step in moving past these barriers towards the further sustainable economic growth of alternative marketing arrangements.

The April webinar was recorded and made available as a resource on the website, with contact information listed for speakers. Following the webinar I collected feedback from attendees, with results indicating that the techniques, resources and ideas presented will be utilized by attendees in the future. Attendees also showed interest in reaching out to four of the five speakers directly for further information. By providing contact information for speakers, this project hopes to further connections for the network and move solutions forward to next steps, from conception to implementation.





Williams, Daniella (2017). Thinking Outside the Fishbox: Innovative Ideas for Overcoming the Challenges Fishermen Face Selling their Catch from Boat-to-Fork. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.