In 2009 a few graduate students passionate about the ocean came together to write a business plan to support our community's fishermen, and provide greater access to families, individuals, and stewards of our ocean looking for the highest quality sustainable seafood available. Local Catch, now Real Good Fish, was born as a way to build a community of fishermen and fish eaters working together to share the bounty of our waters, support diverse catching and eating, and ultimately support greater ocean health.
We believe that life is too short for canned tuna, farmed salmon, and frozen, imported shrimp. Bleh. We love sardines fresh from the water, oysters that taste like Tomales Bay, buttery spot prawns, rich black cod, sweet & messy Dungeness crab, king salmon straight from the boat. Seafood should be fresh, delicious, varied and a celebration of seasons and local bounty. This is what our members enjoy. Some plan family dinners or dinner parties around their share, others grab a bottle of wine and make a special dinner for two. And if you live alone, it’s easy and quick to enjoy a healthy, delicious seafood meal or invite friends over. Joining our CSF is a quality of life choice that not only improves your health and widens your culinary horizons, but by eating local food, you become stewards of our land and sea.
At Real Good Fish, we place a high value on using ocean resources in a sustainable way and evolving the way our culture consumes seafood. We partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program to increase awareness and demand for sustainably caught seafood. We also partner with Monterey Public Schools to get local, under-utilized species into public schools through their Bay2Tray program. To resolve food waste in our system, we are creating specialty seafood products that use all parts of the fish and less appreciated species that are landed locally, like squid and anchovies.
While sustainability guidelines are a good starting point, we also go a step further by focusing on local purchasing. This is why we have developed the Real Good Fish Triple Bottom Line. More than anyone, our fishermen want their children to inherit clean and healthy oceans. By investing in our local fishing industry, we can create a collaborative system of consumers and fishermen, industry and conservationists working together to share the ocean resources that our area has to offer. Bringing these groups together allows us to reduce conflict, increase awareness of fisheries issues, and improve management effectiveness. By simplifying the supply chain, Real Good Fish will offer fishermen a premium price for their catch.
Funds generated by the CSF will allow our fishermen to continue to innovate in pursuit of more sustainable methods and gear types. Ultimately, by connecting more people with the ocean in their backyard, we believe our community supported fishery can help to protect and restore the marine environment that we depend on for food, recreation, culture, economy and health.