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Gearing Up for Season 3!! A message from Dr. Josh, aka, DRfishues

Posted 9/25/2013 1:40pm by Andrea Tomlinson.

NH Community Seafood 

Community Supported Fishery

Eat Fresher Fish.  Support Seacoast Fishermen.


Greetings New Hampshire Commmunity Seafood (NHCS) members and friends!

Its hard to believe that we are about to start our third 8 week season!  But believe it or not, the start of third season is just around the corner, scheduled to start Setember 30. 

When we embarked on this journey, we started out with a simple idea---to somehow get fresh fish from our local New Hampshire boats directly to your plate.  In doing so, we hoped that we would change the way consumers view their seafood. 

We have tried to highlight, and to provide you with a wide variety of abundant and sustainable fish stocks that our small fleet of "day boat" fishermen catch.   Most importantly, we have tried to make your experience as a member of NHCS rewarding, educational, and most importantly--delicious. 

We are not a seafood store.  Rather, we are a community of grass roots NH citizens, of seafood lovers, of slow food advocates, of food connisseurs, of socially responsible buisiness organizations, and collectively, we all serve as stewards of our precious marine resources.    

This is because NHCS is a different type of cooperative.  We are a multi-stakeholder cooperative, owned by both fishermen and consumers.  Which means we are owned by you! As such, we are solely dependent upon you and your continued patronage to promote and sustain this wonderful business for years to come.

We now have 47 consumer stock holders and 14 producer stock holders (fishermen), which is tremendous, but our goal is for every CSF member to also own a share of stock.  Why not?  Not only will this entitle you to a share of a dividend return at the end of the year, but it entitles you to directly influence and voice how our organization evolves over time, and hence how we go about managing our marine resources.

All stockholders will be receiving a packet of information in the mail this week that explains your rights and rolls as a stockholder, and maybe most importantly, provides you an invitation to our annual stockholder meeting (fish grill) this June 14th, which will be held at Four Tree Island right next to our office on Pierce Island, Portsmouth NH.

Four Tree Island, shown above, contains covered picnic tables, cooking facilities and public restrooms.   I'm already looking forward to it, and so are our fishermen.  

This annual stockholder party is intended for stockholders to mingle with one another, meet our fishermen, vote for a consumer representative on our board of directrors, and to generally have a good time and learn more about fish issues "Fishues" (a phrase coined by our own Sarah VanHorn to describe her blog--which is now linked to our CSF's home page).

If you are not a stockholder, you may purchase stock at anytime as long as you have also signed up for one of our first 3 seasons for the CSF.  There is really no risk in doing so, as you can redeem your $100 share at any time, you will gain much more insight and input into how our organization evolves, and you will be entitled to a dividend return based on your total patronage.  The more stockholders we have, the stronger our organizatoin becomes, and the greater chance that we will have excess revenue at years end to pay back to you! Its a win-win-win!  

But even if you are just interested in signing up for our third season, your support means everyting to us.  And based on your input to the latest survey that we sent to our members, we have made changes to Season 3 that are meant to make your membership in our organization more rich and rewarding.

Many of you said that you would like more information about your fish and about different ways to go about cooking it.  You also said that you'd like more insight into the entire supply chain from boat to plate, and that you might like to see some other species of seafood offered as choices throughout the season.

In regards to more information about your fish, we are working to develop beautiful fact sheet cards that will have details about the biology and habitiat of your fish, and also about popular recipes to try.  Although we have many recipes posted on our website, we thought it might be nice to give out take-home wallet size cards with each drop off to make our information dissemination more convenient for you.

In regards to having more insight into the supply chain and the process of procuring fish for you, I have recently joined the social media circus and will now be posting daily tweets and photos in an effort to show you how your fish gets to your plate from our boats.

I also wanted to highlight some of my other duties of managing our sectors--including updates about new federal fisheries rules and regulations, and information about policy advocacy and lobby work that I do. I will try to explain what it all means to you, what it means to our New Hampshire fishermen, and what you can do to help!

Finally, we are excited to be able to offer you a wide variety of fresh fish that we will conitinue to land throughout season 3.  In addition to some of the stocks that you are familiar with by now, we also plan to offer our locally grown Steelhead Trout.  This is a beautiful fish that is being farm raised in pens up here in Portsmouth by a group of our New Hampshire fishermen. 

Because this project was intiated by our local fishermen, all of the revenue goes back to the boats.  These efforts to diversify fishermen's efforts will probably be an important part of mainting an active fishing fleet in New Hampshire.  And I've been told that these Steelhead Trout are unbelievably delicious, and we are excited to offer them to you.

In addition, we will also be able to offer Jonah crab as an add on from week to week to your traditional groundfish share.  These crab are big, ridiculously delicious, and are landed up here in Portsmouth by one of our CSF member fishermen.  We can't wait to offer them to you and show you how to best prepare them.

So, as you see, there's a lot going on.  And we really want you to be a part of our third and possibly best season so far.  When we started this organization, now five months ago, we didn't know what to expect.  We knew we would have the freshest, largest variety of local fish available.  We knew that we would have great information and stories to share with you about our fishermen, and we knew that we truly believe in our mission and story. 

What we didn't know was how much we would rely on you to direct us, how engaged you would all be with our organization, and how much you all believed in our cause and shared our common vision!  You have all exceeded our expectations, and many of you have volunteered your time, energy and creativity to make our orgaization successful.  You are truly the engine that makes this ship sail, and we are asking for your help once again to sign up for Season 3 and to take ownership of this organization with us.  Together, the ocean's the limit!

Thank you,








Sarah E. VanHorn


(207) 899-6042

Josh Wiersma, Ph.D

Co-Founder/Executive Director

(603) 682-6115

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