How the CSF works
A “Community Supported Fishery” is inspired by the very successful model of “Community Supported Agriculture” (CSA) which seeks to link consumers to family businesses that produce local, organic, sustainable, fairly traded food.
In a CSF, consumers share in the benefits and joys of the fishery as well as the risks. In exchange, the consumer receives a share of the best of what is produced that year. CSFs help ensure that independent, small scale harvesters remain in an industry which is rapidly becoming dominated by big business and aquaculture. By investing a sum at the start of the season, customers guarantee that we have enough money to operate our fishing business for the season. In exchange, customers will receive a bounty of wild, fresh, northern seafood.
What does it cost?
Basic membership costs $260 for the season. This includes a $10 technology fee which helps us offset the costs associated with our membership management software.
In addition, there are several other possible charges depending on your specific situation. Each of these will be applied to your account if applicable during the sign-up procedure:
- $5 online transaction fee if you choose to pay online. You can also select to be invoiced and pay by cheque or cash to avoid this charge.
- $10 late joining fee if you join after June 1st for that season. Part of the beauty of the CSF is that fishermen are paid before they head out fishing for the season so that they don't have to take out loans or lines of credit to cover the costs of licences and fuel to get the season started. If you join after June 1st, this extra fee helps us offset any additional costs fishemen may incurr as a result of not receiving their CSF money before they go fishing.
- Shipping Charges. If you select a pick-up city other than Vancouver, you will be charged a small shipping charge to cover the cost of getting the fish to you. These amounts will be added to your accound during the sign up process.
What will I get?
Our CSF is "buy-down style" which means that your membership gets you a $250 credit in the CSF. You can take whatever you like from our inventory to a $250 total. Each item we have will be assigned a member price based on that year's fishing and transport costs.
Here are some examples of what some Vancouver members have taken in recent years: :
All Whole Sockeye:
35lbs whole, fresh sockeye
19lbs sockeye fillets plus 1/2lb pack of salmon candy
Whole and Fillet Mix:
17.7lbs whole sockeye, 10.1lbs whole pink, 7.9lbs sockeye fillets
A Bit of Everything:
9lbs whole sockeye, 5.4lbs sockeye fillets, 2lbs maple smoked nuggets, 1lb candied salmon, 2 cans canned salmon, 4 small packs of lox
Recently, we welcomed a number of other fishermen to our CSF and so members have had the opportunity to take some of their share as halibut, tuna, ling cod, spot prawns, shrimp, and crab as well. Your pick-up notifications will inform you if and when other items are available.
In addition to your share of seafood, members in each city also receive other bonuses such as free filleting demos, a Season Send-off Party in spring, and an End-of-Season Event in fall!
What are the Benefits of joining a CSF?
- Increases access to premium, locally caught seafood
- Establishes a transparent chain-of-custody from boat to fork
- Develops relationships between fishermen and community members, creating a more robust local food system
- Consumers learn about local fisheries practices and concerns directly from the fishermen and fishermen gain knowledge about what their consumers value.
- Ensures independent, small-scale fishermen receive a fair price for their catch and are able to remain in an industry dominated by big business and aquaculture
What are the Risks?
Inherent in the CSF model is a certain degree of risk. If the sockeye runs are very poor, for example, you will receive an equivalent value of other salmon species such as chum, spring, or pink. But we have set our membership limits conservatively to ensure that members have the greatest variety available to them. In the event of a disaster leading to no fishing at all, you will receive a reimbursement for at least $150 of your share. The up-to-$100 contingency will cover costs that may have already been incurred for the fishing season such as license fees, fuel, etc.
Deadlines for picking-up your fish
We encourage members to complete pick up of their shares by October 31st each year. After this date, a storage fee is charged for unclaimed fish at a rate of 10% of the remaining share per month. Members must complete picking up their shares by December 31st. We cannot carry over shares from one year to the next so you must pick up your fish that season. Any unclaimed member fish is donated to charity on Janaury 1st.
Ready to join? Visit this page to buy a membership.