Local Catch Network kicks off campaign raising awareness for local fisherman, seafood harvesters

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 4:59 PM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - A social media campaign is kicking off this week to raise awareness for community-based fisheries across North America.

“It’s a campaign to promote local and regional values-based small scale seafood businesses across North America,” said Paloma Henriques, a graduate assistant at the University of Maine.

This is the second year of the campaign that started after researchers found the pandemic highlighted the need to build resilient local and regional seafood systems.

“The global supply chains really faltered and struggled. If you’re looking at seafood, it’s one of the most highly traded commodities. A fish can be caught in one country processed in another and consumed in a third country,” Henriques said.

Henriques has been working with the network on this campaign for the last two years.

She says this initiative is not only important for local fisherman but also the environment.

“Instead of looking at the few species that are really on the grocery store shelves, there’s a multitude of species out there that we can consume, and that have less impact on the environment. So, for example, seaweed and shellfish have a lot of co-benefits and seaweed actually sequesters carbon and provides habitat for fish, and then a lot of shellfish like oysters, they can clean the environment as well and help the habitat, too,” Henriques said.

Thanks to a grant from the Sustainable Ocean Alliance, this year the campaign is working with fisheries scientist and content creator Emily De Sousa.

Henriques says they hope more people will join the campaign by celebrating their local fishermen this week using the hashtag ‘find your seafood week.’

“This is a way to really highlight businesses and promote this work and show people that there is an alternative to the industrial seafood system,” Henriques said.

For more information and to find seafood near you, visit localcatch.org.