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Do community supported fisheries (CSFs) improve sustainability?

Authors:
Fisheries
Research
157
(2014)
62–69
Contents
lists
available
at
ScienceDirect
Fisheries
Research
j
ourna
l
ho
me
pa
ge:
www.elsevier.com/locate/fishres
Do
community
supported
fisheries
(CSFs)
improve
sustainability?
Loren
McClenachana,,
Benjamin
P.
Nealb,
Dalal
Al-Abdulrazzakc,
Taylor
Witkina,
Kara
Fisherd,
John
N.
Kittingerd,e
aEnvironmental
Studies
Program,
Colby
College,
5300
Mayflower
Hill
Drive,
Waterville,
ME
04901,
USA
bGlobal
Change
Institute,
Staff
House
Road,
University
of
Queensland,
St.
Lucia,
QLD
4072,
Australia
cSea
Around
Us
Project,
Fisheries
Centre,
University
of
British
Columbia,
Vancouver,
BC,
Canada
V6T
1Z4
dCenter
for
Ocean
Solutions,
Stanford
University,
Stanford
Woods
Institute
for
the
Environment,
99
Pacific
Street,
Suite
555E,
Monterey,
CA
93940,
USA
eHawaii
Fish
Trust,
Conservation
International
Betty
and
Gordon
Moore
Center
for
Science
and
Oceans,
7192
Kalanianaole
Hwy,
Ste
G-230,
Honolulu,
HI
96825,
USA
a
r
t
i
c
l
e
i
n
f
o
Article
history:
Received
9
October
2013
Received
in
revised
form
17
March
2014
Accepted
19
March
2014
Keywords:
Carbon
footprint
Community
fisheries
Conservation
Local
food
systems
Under-utilized
stocks
a
b
s
t
r
a
c
t
Community
supported
fisheries
(CSFs)
have
emerged
recently
and
expanded
rapidly
in
the
United
States
and
Canada
as
an
analog
to
community
supported
agriculture,
and
have
been
proposed
as
a
way
to
reduce
the
environmental
impacts
associated
with
seafood
production,
distribution,
and
consumption.
Here,
we
test
the
hypothesis
that
CSFs
are
more
sustainable
than
industrial
fisheries
by
comparing
these
systems
across
a
range
of
sustainability
metrics:
carbon
footprint,
sustainability
of
target
stocks,
and
associated
environmental
impacts.
We
find
that
consuming
seafood
distributed
by
local
CSFs
reduces
the
average
seafood
carbon
footprint
by
more
than
two
orders
of
magnitude;
the
mean
distribution
distance
for
CSF
products
was
65
km,
compared
to
an
average
distance
of
8812
km
for
industrially
supplied
seafood
consumed
in
the
United
States.
There
was
no
difference
in
the
sustainability
of
target
species
as
measured
by
mean
trophic
level,
sustainability
rating,
or
current
stock
biomass
status
(B/BMSY).
However,
CSFs
do
distribute
a
subset
of
highly
abundant
stocks
not
targeted
by
industrialized
fisheries,
which
has
a
strong
potential
to
increase
local
fisheries
sustainability.
Finally,
we
delineate
five
ways
in
which
CSFs
may
reduce
environmental
impacts
associated
with
fisheries
and
identify
current
examples
of
these
practices,
including
marketing
species
that
would
otherwise
be
discarded
and
encouraging
fishers
to
experiment
with
lower
impact
fishing
gear.
Challenges
remain
to
the
widespread
use
of
CSFs,
but
increased
attention
to
local
food
systems
should
result
in
environmental
benefits
for
fisheries
and
marine
ecosystems.
©
2014
Elsevier
B.V.
All
rights
reserved.
1.
Introduction
Local
food
movements
have
emerged
across
the
globe
as
a
way
of
reducing
environmental
impacts
associated
with
food
sys-
tems,
promoting
community
connectivity,
increasing
the
profit
margin
to
small-scale
food
producers,
and
improving
the
quality
of
food
for
local
consumers
(Cone
&
Myhre,
2000;
Ericksen,
2008;
Weber
and
Matthews,
2008).
One
prominent
example
is
the
com-
munity
supported
agriculture
(CSAs)
model,
in
which
consumers
pay
in
advance
for
shares
of
locally
produced
food
(Brown
and
Miller,
2008).
This
direct
marketing
approach
first
developed
in
the
U.S.
in
the
1980s
and
CSAs
currently
number
approximately
2500
(Campbell
et
al.,
2014).
In
coastal
regions,
community
sup-
ported
fisheries
(CSFs)
have
followed
the
CSA
model:
consumers
Corresponding
author.
Tel.:
+1
207
859
5351.
E-mail
addresses:
lemcclen@colby.edu,
loren.mcclenachan@gmail.com
(L.
McClenachan).
purchase
a
share
of
the
catch
of
locally
landed
fish
and
invertebrates,
thereby
decreasing
the
financial
risk
to
fishers
while
providing
consumers
a
more
transparent
supply
chain
and
fresh
local
seafood
(Brinson
et
al.,
2011;
Fig.
1A
and
B).
CSFs
have
emerged
recently
and
expanded
rapidly.
The
first
was
established
in
2007,
and
CSFs
in
the
U.S.
and
Canada
now
number
more
than
30,
deliver-
ing
seafood
to
more
than
125
locations.
These
CSFs
primarily
source
seafood
from
local,
small-scale
fisheries
(Local
Catch,
2013).
While
CSFs
are
primarily
intended
to
promote
the
economic
via-
bility
of
local
fisheries
and
seafood
producers,
many
conservation
benefits
of
CSFs
have
been
proposed.
Seafood
distributed
locally
through
CSFs
should
reduce
the
carbon
footprint
of
the
distribution
chain
as
compared
to
industrialized
fisheries
for
global
markets
by
shortening
the
distance
from
boat
to
plate
(Fig.
2;
Witter,
2012).
CSFs
may
also
diversify
catch
and
reduce
harvesting
pressure
on
single,
high
value
species
by
making
species
more
equally
valu-
able
(NCSPC,
2012)
and
by
encouraging
consumers
to
eat
locally
plentiful
fish
that
are
underrepresented
in
supermarkets,
whose
offerings
are
controlled
by
larger
suppliers
(Greenaway,
2012).
The
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2014.03.016
0165-7836/©
2014
Elsevier
B.V.
All
rights
reserved.
L.
McClenachan
et
al.
/
Fisheries
Research
157
(2014)
62–69
63
Fig.
1.
(A)
Community
supported
seafood
distribution,
Local
Catch
Monterey
Bay
(Photo
credit:
Jason
Houston).
(B)
Sand-dabs,
an
example
of
locally
abundant
species
with
limited
market
distributed
by
Local
Catch
Monterey
Bay
CSF
(Photo
credit:
Alan
Lovewell).
(C)
Seafood
distributed
in
supermarkets,
which
was
used
for
comparison
in
this
analysis.
CSF
model
may
also
encourage
fishers
to
use
less
destructive
fishing
methods
such
as
hook
and
line
gear
(Witter,
2012),
as
their
prac-
tices
are
more
transparent
to
consumers
who
are
concerned
with
the
environmental
effects
of
their
consumption
patterns
(NCSPC,
2012).
Finally,
CSFs
may
result
in
more
active
involvement
of
fishers
in
management
by
encouraging
interest
in
advancing
sustainability
in
their
local
fisheries
by
developing
local
rules
or
protocols
that
improve
on
those
imposed
by
state
or
federal
managers
(Brinson
et
al.,
2011).
To
date,
the
small
body
of
research
on
CSFs
has
focused
on
social
and
economic
aspects
of
these
systems
(e.g.,
Brinson
et
al.,
2011;
Witter,
2012)
and
comparisons
to
CSA
models
(Campbell
et
al.,
2014),
such
that
the
potential
sustainability
benefits
of
CSFs
have
yet
to
be
evaluated
empirically.
Broadly,
research
on
fisheries
sustainability
has
included
analyses
of
the
sustainability
of
target
stocks,
including
quantification
of
declines
in
total
global
catch
and
the
mean
trophic
level
of
fisheries
(Pauly
et
al.,
2002),
as
well
as
progress
toward
achieving
management
targets
like
maximum
sus-
tainable
yield
(MSY)
(Worm
et
al.,
2009).
Researchers
have
also
called
attention
to
fisheries’
impacts
on
the
environment
through
habitat
destruction,
bycatch,
and
alterations
of
ecological
interac-
tions
(Dayton
et
al.,
1995),
and
more
recent
concern
over
global
change
has
prompted
analyses
of
carbon
footprint
of
particular
fisheries
and
seafood
distribution
systems
(Iribarren
et
al.,
2010;
Winther
et
al.,
2009;
Vázquez-Rowe
et
al.,
2010).
While
the
litera-
ture
on
fisheries
sustainability
is
broad
and
varied,
little
attention
has
been
paid
to
the
sustainability
implications
of
local
food
move-
ments
and
direct
marketing
efforts
(Walker
et
al.,
2013).
Here,
we
64
L.
McClenachan
et
al.
/
Fisheries
Research
157
(2014)
62–69
Fig.
2.
A
schematic
of
the
seafood
distribution
chain
for
industrial
seafood
products
and
CSFs.
Used
with
permission
from
K.
Lowitt
from
Nelson
et
al.
(2013).
assess
the
sustainability
of
CSFs
relative
to
industrialized
fisheries
for
three
types
of
sustainability:
carbon
footprint,
sustainability
of
target
stocks,
and
associated
environmental
impacts.
Our
goal
is
to
quantify
sustainability
differences
that
currently
exist
and
explore
how
CSFs
are
implementing
innovative
practices
to
reduce
envi-
ronmental
impacts
through
both
supply-side
(seafood
production)
and
demand-side
interventions
(consumer
awareness
of
sustain-
able
seafood).
2.
Methods
We
obtained
information
from
15
CSFs
located
in
New
England,
California,
British
Columbia,
and
North
Carolina.
We
focused
on
CSFs
in
these
regions
because
they
represented
four
distinctive
geographic
areas
that
all
have
some
of
the
highest
concentrations
of
CSFs
in
North
America
(Local
Catch,
2013).
Data
were
obtained
directly
from
CSF
representatives,
as
well
as
from
information
published
online
by
individual
CSFs.
For
each
CSF,
we
requested
information
on
numbers
of
subscribers,
size
of
shares,
fish
stocks
targeted,
gear
used,
and
the
distance
of
distribution
sites
from
the
landing
site.
For
privacy
reasons,
we
grouped
all
data
by
region.
We
quantified
the
carbon
footprint
associated
with
distributing
seafood
through
CSFs
by
calculating
the
mean
distance
from
the
landing
sites
to
the
distribution
sites,
for
all
CSFs
together
and
for
CSFs
within
each
region.
We
then
calculated
a
minimum
potential
travel
distance
for
all
seafood
consumed
in
the
United
States
using
import
data
obtained
from
the
National
Oceanic
and
Atmospheric
Administration
(NOAA).
We
used
data
on
edible
fishery
products
(excluding
reduction
fisheries)
imported
in
2011,
the
most
recent
data
available
(NOAA,
2012).
For
each
exporting
nation
(n
=
44),
we
chose
a
fixed
point
(the
capital
city)
and
calculated
the
distance
to
a
fixed
point
in
the
United
States.
Each
distance
was
then
weighted
by
total
imports
in
kilograms
from
that
nation.
For
domestically
pro-
duced
seafood
products,
we
used
an
arbitrary
conservative
distance
of
549
km,
which
was
the
maximum
port-to-consumer
distance
shipped
by
the
CSFs,
and
weighted
this
distance
by
the
total
U.S.
domestic
landings
of
edible
fishery
products,
reduced
by
the
total
U.S.
exports
of
these
products
(NOAA,
2012).
This
method
under-
estimates
the
travel
distance
for
industrial
seafood
products
but
provides
a
minimum
potential
distance
to
which
we
could
compare
CSF
seafood.
We
assessed
the
sustainability
of
target
stocks
using
three
inde-
pendent
measurements,
which
we
compared
to
seafood
available
for
purchase
in
supermarkets
in
communities
served
by
CSFs.
We
visited
10
supermarkets
in
California,
New
England,
Vancouver,
and
North
Carolina
and
recorded
each
seafood
product
available
for
sale,
its
country
of
origin,
and
whether
it
was
wild
caught
or
farmed
(Fig.
1C).
For
both
CSFs
and
supermarket
seafood,
we
aggre-
gated
species
by
region
to
eliminate
redundancies,
and
compiled
data
on
our
three
sustainability
measurements.
These
were:
(1)
trophic
level,
(TL)
which
we
obtained
from
FishBase
(Froese
and
Pauly,
2013)
or
estimated
from
published
diet
information,
(2)
sus-
tainability
ranking
as
reported
by
the
Blue
Ocean
Institute
Seafood
Choices
database
(BOI,
2013),
and
(3)
status
of
the
stock
measured
as
current
biomass
relative
to
target
biomass
(e.g.,
B/BMSY,
B/B
Btarget)
for
the
subset
U.S.
and
Canadian
stocks
that
had
avail-
able
stock
assessments,
which
we
obtained
from
regional
Fisheries
Management
Councils
(U.S.),
state
management
agencies
(U.S.),
or
the
Department
of
Fisheries
and
Oceans
(Canada).
These
biomass
values
indicate
stock
health,
with
values
of
1.0
and
greater
indi-
cating
that
stocks
are
at
or
above
the
target
biomass,
and
values
<0.5
indicating
overfished
status
(Murawski,
2000).
Directly
com-
paring
CSF
and
supermarkets
for
stock
status
allowed
us
to
test
the
hypothesis
that
CSFs
encourage
consumers
to
eat
fish
that
may
be
locally
plentiful
but
underrepresented
in
supermarkets.
Finally,
we
interviewed
a
subset
of
CSF
representatives
from
each
of
the
four
regions
to
determine
fishing
practices
with
respect
to
overfished
stocks
(B/BMSY
<
0.05)
and
stocks
that
we
defined
as
highly
abundant
(B/BMSY
=
2.5),
as
well
as
associated
environmen-
tal
impacts
not
revealed
by
quantitative
sustainability
statistics.
These
included
marketing
of
products
that
would
otherwise
be
dis-
carded
as
bycatch,
fisheries
that
involved
less
impactful
gears
than
are
typically
used,
and
utilization
of
abundant
local
resources
that
displace
a
less
sustainable
option.
In
total,
we
interviewed
repre-
sentatives
of
8
of
the
15
CSFs
in
our
study.
3.
Results
In
our
four
regions,
CSFs
ranged
in
size
from
100
to
>1000
sub-
scribers.
Share
size
ranged
from
12
to
182
lb
of
seafood
products
per
year,
with
a
median
annual
share
size
of
48
lb.
The
focus
of
CSFs
varied,
ranging
from
those
that
targeted
single
species
in
a
particu-
lar
season
to
those
that
included
>20
species
as
part
of
a
year-round
business.
Cumulatively,
the
highest
number
of
species
was
offered
by
California
CSFs,
with
a
total
of
47
species,
followed
by
25
each
in
New
England
and
North
Carolina,
and
7
in
British
Columbia.
3.1.
Distance
On
average,
seafood
from
CSFs
traveled
two
orders
of
magni-
tude
less
than
seafood
originating
from
industrial
seafood
supply
systems.
The
mean
distance
from
landing
to
distribution
site
for
L.
McClenachan
et
al.
/
Fisheries
Research
157
(2014)
62–69
65
China: 23%
11,170 km
Thailand: 15%
14,172 km
Vietnam: 7%
13,362 km
Canada: 12%
732 km
Indonesia: 5%
16,355 km
Mexico: 3%
3030 km
Chile: 4%; 8036 km
Ecuador: 5%;
4336 km
Norway: 1.5%
6248 km
Oceania: 1%
6418 km
Other
North America:
1.6%; 8765 km
Other South
America: 1.2%
7629 km
New Zealand: 1%
14,072 km
Other Asia: 8%; 13,989 km
India: 3%;
12,068 km
U.S.
11%
Fig.
3.
Distance
traveled
by
seafood
imported
into
US
for
human
consumption.
Blue:
Europe,
Orange:
Asia,
Red:
South
America,
Green:
North
America,
Purple:
Oceania.
The
width
of
each
line
represents
relative
quantity
of
total
seafood
and
distance
is
a
straight-line
distance
from
a
fixed
point
within
that
country.
Data
from
NOAA
(2012).
CSFs
across
all
regions
was
64.6
km
(SE
9.6,
range
0–549
km).
The
longest
distance
was
traveled
by
seafood
in
North
Carolina,
with
a
mean
distance
of
313
km,
due
to
the
fact
coastal
CSFs
primarily
serve
the
inland
cities
of
Durham
and
Raleigh.
The
shortest
distance
was
in
British
Columbia,
where
both
surveyed
CSFs
have
landing
sites
that
are
the
same
as
the
distribution
sites;
CSFs
land
their
catch
on
wharfs
in
Vancouver
and
Victoria
where
members
pick
up
their
shares.
California
and
New
England
had
similar
mean
distribution
distances
of
36
and
51
km,
respectively.
In
contrast,
the
average
weighted
straight-line
distance
trav-
eled
by
seafood
products
consumed
in
the
US
was
8812
km
(Fig.
3).
U.S.
production
of
edible
seafood
products
represented
11%
of
total
domestic
consumption
(0.27
million
metric
tons),
and
imported
products
represented
89%
of
total
domestic
seafood
consumption
(2.4
million
metric
tons).
Chinese
seafood
represented
the
largest
quantity
consumed
in
the
U.S.
(23%),
followed
by
Thailand
(15%)
and
Canada
(12%).
3.2.
Sustainability
of
target
stock
There
were
no
statistically
significant
differences
in
the
mean
trophic
levels
(TL),
Blue
Ocean
Institute
sustainability
ranking,
or
stock
status,
either
between
CSF
fisheries
and
fish
sold
in
supermar-
kets,
or
among
CSFs
in
the
four
regions
(Table
1;
Fig.
4).
The
mean
TL
for
CSF-sold
seafood
was
3.52,
compared
to
3.29
for
supermar-
ket
seafood
and
the
mean
BOI
rankings
were
identical
(2.28).
The
median
B/BMSY
values
were
1.00
for
supermarket
seafood
and
1.15
for
CSF
seafood;
half
of
stocks
sold
in
supermarkets
and
two-thirds
(66%)
of
stocks
sold
as
part
of
CSFs
had
biomass
values
at
or
above
Table
1
Differences
in
sustainability
rakings
among
seafood
products
available
for
purchase
in
supermarkets
and
through
CSFs.
(TL—trophic
level;
BOI—Blue
Ocean
Institute).
Median
B/BMSY
is
for
US
and
Canadian
stocks
only.
Biomass
values
(B/BMSY)
indi-
cate
stock
health,
with
values
of
1.0
and
greater
indicating
that
stocks
are
at
or
above
the
target
biomass,
and
values
<0.5
indicating
overfished
status.
Mean
TL
(SD)
Mean
BOI
Index
(SD)
Median
B/BMSY
All
Grocery
3.29
(1.04)
2.28
(0.56)
1.00
All
CSFs
3.52
(0.87)
2.28
(0.48)
1.15
British
Columbia
CSFs
3.44
(1.04)
2.61
(0.32)
1.44
California
CSFs
3.58
(0.80)
2.23
(0.44)
1.32
New
England
CSFs
3.42
(0.88)
2.10
(0.51)
1.25
North
Carolina
CSFs
3.53
(0.97)
2.48
(0.46)
1.04
Fig.
4.
The
stock
status
of
fisheries
targeted
by
CSFs
and
sold
in
supermarkets.
Values
refer
to
B/BMSY,
or
proxy
(e.g.,
B/Btarget).
the
target
for
that
stock.
There
were
no
significant
differences
in
these
values
among
regions,
with
all
CSFs
having
median
biomass
levels
exceeding
the
management
target
for
sustainability
(range
1.04–1.44).
One
notable
difference
between
CSFs
and
supermarket
seafood
was
the
presence
of
highly
abundant
stocks
in
seafood
distributed
by
CSFs
(Fig.
4).
We
defined
highly
abundant
stocks
as
those
whose
current
biomass
is
250%
or
more
of
the
identified
target
biomass
for
that
stock
(B/BMSY
=
2.5).
Five
out
of
the
62
stocks
with
assessments
available
were
highly
abundant:
three
in
California
and
two
in
New
England
(Table
2).
The
northern
California
stock
of
Pacific
halibut
(Hippoglossus
stenolepis)
had
the
highest
abundance
relative
to
its
Table
2
Highly
abundant
stocks
targeted
by
CSFs
(B/BMSY
or
proxy
=
2.5).
Species
B/BMSY
or
proxy
Region
Pacific
halibut
(Hippoglossus
stenolepis)
10.2
(Northern
stock)
California
Dover
sole
(Microstomus
pacificus)
3.4
California
Atlantic
herring
(Clupea
harengus)
3.3
New
England
English
sole
(Parophrys
vetulus) 2.9
California
Lobster
(Homarus
americanus)
2.5
(George’s
Bank
stock)
New
England
66
L.
McClenachan
et
al.
/
Fisheries
Research
157
(2014)
62–69
Table
3
Overfished
stocks
targeted
by
CSFs
(B/BMSY
or
proxy
<
0.50).
Species
B/BMSY
or
proxy
Region
Atlantic
cod
(Gadus
morhua)
0.08
(George’s
Bank)
0.19
(Gulf
of
Maine)
New
England
Gray
sea
trout
(Cynoscion
regalis)
0.13
North
Carolina
Pacific
bluefin
tuna
(Thunnus
orientalis)
0.18
California
Winter
flounder
(Pseudopleuronectes
americanus)
0.29
(Gulf
of
Maine)
New
England
Pacific
sardines
(Sardinops
sagax)
0.34
California
White
hake
(Urophycis
tenuis)
0.35
New
England
Spotted
seatrout
(Cynoscion
nebulosus) 0.37
(range:
0.21–0.52) North
Carolina
Sheephead
(Semicossyphus
pulcher) 0.40
California
Witch
flounder
(Glyptocephalus
cynoglossus)
0.41
New
England
management
target,
with
a
B/BMSY
>
10,
or
more
than
1000%
of
the
target.
In
four
out
of
five
cases,
targeting
highly
abundant
stocks
for
local
consumption
as
part
of
CSFs
marked
a
new
phase
of
the
fishery
following
collapse.
In
California,
the
three
highly
abundant
stocks
distributed
by
CSFs
historically
were
targeted
by
a
fishery
dominated
by
larger
trawl
vessels.
This
fleet
was
declared
a
federal
disaster
in
2000,
and
a
subsequent
vessel
buyback
reduced
it
by
approximately
half
with
many
of
the
remaining
permits
acquired
by
The
Nature
Conservancy
(TNC).
The
fishery
transitioned
to
an
individual
transferable
quota
(ITQ)
catch
share
program
in
2011
and
gear
and
area
restrictions
were
adopted
(Gleason
et
al.,
2013).
TNC
emphasized
local
marketing,
and
some
of
the
vessels
remaining
in
the
fishery
now
market
their
fish
through
CSFs.
In
New
England,
Atlantic
herring
(Clupea
harengus)
were
targeted
historically
as
a
bait
fishery,
but
there
has
been
recent
interest
in
resurrecting
this
fishery
for
human
consumption
(see
Section
3.3).
American
lob-
ster
(Homarus
americanus)
is
an
active
commercial
fishery
in
New
England,
but
the
highly
abundant
George’s
Bank
stock
represents
the
smallest
contribution
to
the
overall
fishery
(McKown
et
al.,
2009).
High
lobster
biomass
has
been
attributed
both
to
effective
management,
as
well
as
fishing-induced
depletion
of
predatory
groundfish
species
(Steneck
et
al.,
2011).
Not
all
stocks
targeted
by
CSFs
are
robust.
In
total,
21
stocks
(34%
of
stocks
with
assessments
available)
fell
below
their
biomass
targets
(B/BMSY
<
1.0)
and
10
stocks
(16%)
were
below
the
over-
fished
threshold
(B/BMSY
<
0.5)
(Fig.
4;
Table
3).
The
percentage
of
overfished
stocks
is
nearly
identical
to
that
of
supermarket
fish,
of
which
18%
were
below
B/BMSY
<
0.5,
and
similar
to
the
overall
stock
status
of
federally
managed
fish
in
the
United
States,
of
which
21%
are
overfished
(NOAA,
2011).
While
this
study
did
not
consider
the
relative
abundance
of
seafood
products
within
CSFs,
interviews
with
CSF
representatives
suggested
that
these
overfished
stocks
may
represent
a
small
proportion
of
the
total
seafood
caught
and
distributed.
For
example,
the
Pacific
bluefin
tuna
included
in
this
list
(Table
3)
represents
one
individual
that
was
caught
and
distributed
two
years
prior
to
this
study.
3.3.
Reducing
associated
environmental
impacts
Through
our
interviews,
we
identified
five
ways
in
which
CSFs
reduce
environmental
impacts
associated
with
fisheries
that
are
not
apparent
from
stock
assessment
data
or
other
sustaina-
bility
metrics
(Table
4).
Bycatch
utilization
represented
a
common
type
of
reduction
in
environmental
impact,
as
CSFs
can
market
locally
abundant
species
that
are
caught
incidentally
and
often
discarded.
For
example,
pink
salmon
(Oncorhynchus
gorbuscha)
in
British
Columbia
are
caught
in
small
volumes
in
the
coho
salomon
(Oncorhynchus
kisutch)
troll
fishery,
but
do
not
have
significant
value
and
are
therefore
considered
bycatch.
However,
they
are
mar-
keted
in
small
volumes
through
a
CSF.
Similarly,
octopus
(Octopus
vulgaris)
in
British
Columbia
is
a
bycatch
of
the
prawn
trap
fishery
and
has
been
typically
sold
only
as
bait.
The
CSF
network
provides
a
local
food
outlet
for
this
species,
which
brings
fishers
a
50%
increase
in
ex-vessel
price.
In
New
England,
Jonah
crab
(Cancer
borealis)
has
increased
in
abundance
over
the
last
decade,
due
in
part
to
fisheries-
mediated
declines
in
urchins
and
an
ecological
phase
shift
that
favor
these
crabs
(Steneck
et
al.,
2013).
This
species
is
caught
inciden-
tally
in
the
lobster
trap
fishery
and
has
had
limited
market,
but
has
been
distributed
through
CSF
networks.
In
California,
CSFs
dis-
tribute
Pacific
grenadier
(Coryphaenoides
acrolepis),
which
is
caught
incidentally
in
the
trawl
fishery.
Catches
of
grenadier
are
currently
incidental
and
small,
but
this
species
has
been
recognized
as
hav-
ing
potential
for
overfishing
due
to
slow
growth
(Abbot,
2005).
Thus,
while
utilization
of
bycatch
typically
represents
an
imme-
diate
environmental
benefit,
in
some
cases,
the
development
of
a
directed
fishery
would
not
be
sustainable.
Finally,
CSFs
have
helped
Table
4
Methods
by
which
CSF
fisheries
reduce
environmental
impacts
associated
with
fisheries.
Impact
reduction
Examples
(region)
1.
Develop
market
for
bycatch
and
waste
products
Jonah
and
rock
crabs
(bycatch,
New
England)
Pink
salmon
and
octopus
(bycatch,
British
Columbia)
Sheepshead
(bycatch,
North
Carolina)
Grenadier
(bycatch,
California)
Fish
heads
(waste
product,
British
Columbia)
Flounder
roe
(waste
product,
New
England)
2.
Create
markets
for
underutilized,
abundant
species
Atlantic
herring
(New
England)
Ridgeback
prawns
(California)
Sand
dabs
(California)
3.
Create
local
demand
for
product
otherwise
exported
or
imported
Longspine
and
shortspine
thornyheads
(California)
Jonah
and
rock
crabs
(New
England)
4.
Use
of
lower
impact
gear
Sand
dabs
(development
of
targeted
hook
and
line
fishery,
California)
Coho
salmon
(vessel
changes
to
reduce
fuel
usage
while
trolling,
British
Columbia)
Mixed
species
trawl
fishery
(use
of
trawl
nets
with
reduced
roller
gear,
California)
5.
Education
and
collaboration
Walking
Fish
CSF:
business
model
developed
with
input
from
Duke
University
Local
Catch
Monterey
Bay:
sustainability
plans
developed
with
collaboration
with
the
Center
for
Ocean
Solutions
at
Stanford
University
Port
Clyde
Fresh
Catch:
marketing
and
promotional
assistance
from
the
Island
Institute,
a
local
non-profit
L.
McClenachan
et
al.
/
Fisheries
Research
157
(2014)
62–69
67
to
reduce
waste
by
meeting
demand
for
otherwise
disposable
prod-
ucts,
such
as
fish
heads
or
roe.
In
British
Columbia,
fish
with
heads
intact
are
desired
by
CSF
members,
and
the
allocation
of
these
as
part
of
CSFs
reduces
both
processing
and
waste.
Similarly,
in
New
England,
flounder
roe,
a
highly
perishable
product,
is
distributed
as
part
of
the
CSF
shares.
A
second
way
that
CSFs
have
helped
increase
sustainability
is
by
creating
markets
for
locally
abundant
fish
and
invertebrates
that
previously
lacked
local
demand.
As
for
bycatch
species,
these
stocks
have
the
potential
to
displace
less
sustainable
options
currently
in
the
market.
In
California,
ridgeback
prawns
(Sicyonia
ingentis)
can
be
locally
abundant,
but
have
a
limited
potential
in
long
distance
markets
(Owens,
2006).
The
CSF
model
of
minimizing
time
from
catch
to
consumption
reduces
this
risk
and
creates
a
new
market
for
these
stocks.
California
CSFs
also
distribute
Pacific
sand
dabs
(Citharichthys
sordidus),
a
small
flatfish
in
high
local
abundance
with
a
limited
market
(Fig.
1B).
In
New
England,
Atlantic
herring
(Clupea
harengus)
are
a
low
trophic
level
and
locally
abundant
fish
that
have
been
targeted
primarily
as
bait
for
the
lobster
fishery;
currently
almost
none
of
the
catch
enters
the
market
for
human
consumption.
However,
herring
were
historically
canned,
smoked,
dried,
or
pickled
and
distributed
as
part
of
a
directed
fishery.
Res-
urrecting
local
food
markets
for
species
such
as
herring
has
the
potential
to
increase
sustainability
by
recreating
seafood
distribu-
tion
and
consumption
patterns
that
existed
prior
to
industrialized
fisheries.
Third,
CSFs
have
helped
create
local
market
for
seafood
prod-
ucts
that
are
currently
shipped
overseas
and
have
provided
a
local
substitute
for
products
supplied
from
international
markets.
For
example,
both
longspine
and
shortspine
thornyheads
(Sebastolobus
altivelis
and
Sebastolobus
alascanus)
are
caught
in
California
and
dis-
tributed
by
CSFs.
There
is
strong
demand
for
these
fish
in
Asia,
but
they
have
not
been
popular
in
the
U.S.
Local
marketing
displaces
the
energy
costs
for
transportation
and
freezing
required
for
the
export
market,
and
because
the
fresh
market
commands
a
higher
price,
fewer
individuals
need
to
be
caught
to
return
the
same
profit.
Conversely,
local
utilization
of
products
that
have
direct
imported
analogues,
such
as
Jonah
and
rock
crab
meat
in
New
England,
means
that
less
of
this
product
must
be
imported.
Fourth,
some
CSFs
incentivize
the
use
of
fishing
gear
with
reduced
environmental
impact.
In
New
England,
some
of
the
fish-
ers
who
supply
CSFs
use
a
larger
mesh
size
than
required
by
law
and
have
experimented
with
trawls
with
reduced
twine
size,
which
are
easier
to
pull
through
the
water,
reducing
fuel
consumption.
In
California,
CSF
suppliers
use
trawls
with
reduced
roller
weights,
in
order
to
impart
less
impact
on
benthic
habitats.
California
CSF
fish-
ers
have
also
expanded
hook
and
line
fisheries,
such
as
for
sand
dabs,
which
effectively
eliminate
benthic
disturbance.
In
British
Columbia,
the
salmon
trolling
practiced
by
CSF
fishers
is
already
known
as
a
low-impact
fishery.
Some
CSF
fishers
have
taken
fur-
ther
steps
to
reduce
fuel
usage,
including
mounting
stabilizers
and
using
an
upgraded,
more
efficient
diesel
engine.
Finally,
CSFs
can
promote
social
dimensions
of
sustainability
through
demand-side
interventions
such
as
education
for
con-
sumer
awareness
and
cross-sector
collaborations.
Many
CSFs
include
member
education
efforts
as
part
of
their
service,
includ-
ing
information
about
the
status
of
local
fisheries
stocks,
fishing
methods,
seafood
processing
and
distribution,
community
events,
and
recipes
from
local
chefs.
Though
the
effect
of
these
efforts
is
unknown,
these
practices
are
intended
to
increase
consumer
awareness
of
sustainable
seafood
and
the
overall
traceability
of
seafood
systems,
helping
shift
local
demand
toward
more
sustain-
able
species
and
practices.
CSFs
have
also
enabled
collaborations
among
fishers,
academic
institutions,
and
non-profit
organizations,
which
enhances
communication
among
groups
that
may
not
typi-
cally
interact.
For
example,
two
of
the
CSFs
in
our
study
had
direct
connections
to
universities,
and
one
had
a
direct
connection
with
a
local
nonprofit
(Table
4).
While
these
collaborations
may
not
be
typical
of
CSFs,
it
demonstrates
the
potential
for
CSFs
to
foster
such
connections.
4.
Discussion
A
diversity
of
approaches
has
been
taken
to
assess
the
sustaina-
bility
of
seafood
systems,
but
there
is
a
relative
paucity
of
literature
assessing
direct
marketing
efforts,
which
limits
comparison
of
our
results
with
other
efforts.
For
example,
the
carbon
footprints
of
particular
fisheries
have
been
analyzed
to
determine
the
relative
contributions
of
different
stages
of
seafood
production
and
distri-
bution
(Winther
et
al.,
2009),
differences
among
coastal,
offshore,
and
deep-sea
fisheries
(Iribarren
et
al.,
2010),
and
the
fuel
inten-
sity
of
different
gear
types
(Vázquez-Rowe
et
al.,
2010).
However,
research
has
not
differentiated
between
types
of
seafood
distribu-
tion
systems,
nor
to
our
knowledge
has
a
comprehensive
analysis
of
the
carbon
footprint
of
seafood
systems
been
undertaken.
In
our
comparison
of
the
sustainability
of
CSFs
and
industrial
seafood
supply
systems,
we
found
a
decrease
of
two
orders
of
magnitude
in
distribution
distance
for
CSF
seafood,
which
represents
a
sub-
stantial
decrease
in
carbon
footprint.
While
our
work
only
focuses
on
distribution,
not
carbon
footprint
associated
with
harvesting,
previous
work
has
suggested
that
energy
use
associated
with
trans-
portation
of
internationally
distributed
seafood
is
one
of
its
major
environmental
impacts,
with
processing,
freezing,
packaging,
and
transportation
representing
up
to
80%
of
the
total
carbon
output
(Winther
et
al.,
2009).
In
coastal
communities,
the
CSF
model
has
the
potential
to
greatly
minimize
these
impacts.
Furthermore,
fish-
eries
products
inherently
can
have
a
lower
greenhouse
gas
emission
cost
than
meat
products
due
to
lack
of
inputs
such
as
fertilizer
inputs
for
feed
growing
(Weber
and
Matthews,
2008).
Therefore,
if
fish
are
processed
and
distributed
locally,
they
may
represent
one
of
the
lowest
energy-intensive
animal
protein
sources
available.
In
terms
of
stock
status
and
overall
sustainability
of
the
tar-
get
stock,
we
found
that
CSFs
distribute
highly
abundant
stocks
not
available
through
industrial
seafood
systems
(Fig.
4;
Table
2),
suggesting
that
there
is
potential
to
improve
sustainability
if
these
seafood
products
are
substituted
for
less
sustainable
options.
Our
interview
results
also
provide
empirical
evidence
of
many
of
the
proposed
associated
environmental
benefits
to
CSFs,
confirming
that
CSFs
are
helping
to
create
new
markets
for
locally
abundant
stocks
that
would
otherwise
not
be
marketable
due
to
issues
of
scale
and
distance,
and
that
many
are
experimenting
with
lower
impact
gear
types
(Table
4).
On
average,
we
found
that
CSF
fisheries
stocks
are
not
significantly
more
sustainable
than
those
entering
the
industrial
supply
chains
as
measured
by
our
three
metrics
of
stock
status
(Table
1).
However,
our
stock
assessment
comparison
was
limited
to
U.S.
and
Canadian
stocks,
which
represent
a
small
percentage
(23%)
of
total
U.S.
consumption.
Therefore,
this
metric
may
underestimate
the
total
difference
between
the
stock
status
of
CSF
seafood
and
supermarket
seafood,
as
many
foreign
stocks
that
supply
U.S.
markets
lack
adequate
management
(Worm
et
al.,
2009).
Not
all
stocks
targeted
by
CSFs
are
stable,
with
several
overfished
stocks
targeted
and
distributed
through
CSFs
(Table
3),
which
lim-
its
their
ability
to
improve
community
based
marine
conservation.
It
is
important
to
note
that
the
goal
of
all
CSFs
is
not
to
promote
sustainability;
as
with
all
fisheries,
many
fishers
that
supply
CSFs
simply
fish
within
the
limits
of
the
fishery
and
the
quota
allo-
cated
established
by
management
agencies.
As
well,
CSFs
operate
within
a
broader
social
and
governmental
context,
such
that
efforts
to
improve
sustainability
may
be
diluted
if
effective
management
is
lacking
(Campbell
et
al.,
2014).
The
ability
of
the
CSF
model
to
68
L.
McClenachan
et
al.
/
Fisheries
Research
157
(2014)
62–69
contribute
to
improving
marine
conservation
therefore
requires
on
a
broader
suite
of
policies
that
support
robust
and
diverse
fisheries
(Alden,
2011).
The
overall
status
of
fisheries
stocks
is
of
fundamen-
tal
concern
for
supporting
small-boat
fleets
and
associated
local
markets,
both
for
CSFs
and
other
small-scale
fisheries,
which
are
often
overlooked
in
planning
for
fisheries
sustainability
(Jacquet
and
Pauly,
2008).
The
recent
fisheries
adaptation
of
the
“locavore”
movement,
which
began
with
agricultural
products,
holds
potential
for
seafood
systems,
and
many
similarities
exist
between
the
CSA
and
CSF
models
(Campbell
et
al.,
2014).
CSFs
are
employing
innova-
tive
approaches
to
reduce
environmental
impacts
through
both
supply-side
(seafood
production)
and
demand-side
interventions
(consumer
awareness
of
sustainable
seafood).
On
the
demand
side,
many
CSFs
are
educating
consumers
about
stock
status,
sustainable
harvesting
techniques,
and
a
diversity
of
locally
abundant,
but
unfa-
miliar
species.
The
dynamic
between
consumer
demand
and
the
CSF
model
is
ongoing,
and
local
variants
will
continue
to
develop
to
address
the
desire
for
short
distribution
chain
and
utilization
of
locally
abundant
species.
For
example,
some
CSF
representa-
tives
noted
that
lack
of
choice
can
act
as
a
consumer
deterrent,
and
are
developing
alternative
modes
of
local
distribution
for
con-
sumers
who
want
local
and
sustainable
seafood
but
are
not
fully
committed
to
the
CSF
model.
The
SLO
Fresh
Catch
CSF
in
San
Luis
Obispo
created
a
mobile
device
application
that
provides
real-time
landings
information,
which
allows
consumers
to
select
and
order
products
that
can
then
be
distributed
through
the
CSF
network
(http://phondini.com/fishline/).
These
adaptations
may
reduce
the
ability
of
CSFs
to
introduce
consumers
to
unfamiliar
species,
but
potentially
reduce
waste
by
increasing
consumer
choice.
Glob-
ally,
the
traceability
of
seafood
has
become
a
key
dimension
of
seafood
sustainability,
and
substantial
efforts
have
been
directed
toward
efforts
to
increase
transparency,
such
as
through
ecolabel-
ing
(Gutiérrez
et
al.,
2012;
Jacquet
et
al.,
2010).
CSFs
also
seek
to
enable
transparency,
albeit
in
a
localized
market,
through
efforts
to
engage
with
and
educate
CSF
members
and
their
community.
Sustainable
local
fisheries
are
of
increasing
concern
among
the
myriad
stakeholders
involved
in
seafood
production,
conserva-
tion,
and
fisheries
assessment
(Alden,
2011;
Smith,
2008;
Smith
et
al.,
2010).
The
CSF
model
creates
alternative
economies
and
holds
much
potential
to
generate
positive
social
and
environmental
impacts
in
coastal
communities.
While
CSFs
still
supply
a
fraction
of
the
seafood
consumed
in
the
U.S.
and
Canada,
the
rapid
prolifer-
ation
of
this
model
signifies
the
growth
potential
in
local
seafood
businesses.
Further,
the
median
annual
share
size
for
the
CSFs
in
our
study
was
48
lb,
which
if
shared
among
a
family
of
four,
is
roughly
equivalent
to
the
US
average
per
capita
seafood
consump-
tion
of
15
lb
(NOAA,
2012).
As
CSFs
increase
in
numbers
and
scale,
it
is
feasible
that
these
models
may
supply
a
larger
percentage
of
the
seafood
consumed,
particularly
in
economically
diverse
coastal
communities
that
include
both
a
active
fishing
community
and
a
substantial
consumer
base.
Our
results
show
that
in
aggregate,
CSFs
are
decreasing
the
dis-
tance
from
boat
to
plate
and
targeting
highly
abundant
local
stocks.
Additionally,
many
are
developing
innovative
approaches
to
simul-
taneously
enhance
local
economies
and
food
security
in
coastal
communities,
and
achieve
conservation
and
sustainable
fish-
eries
goals.
The
development
of
novel
markets
and
local/regional
seafood
supply
systems
holds
much
promise
to
enhance
adap-
tive
and
locally
driven
management
of
coastal
fisheries.
In
order
to
assess
the
full
range
of
these
impacts,
there
is
need
for
more
comprehensive
sustainability
assessments
that
take
into
account
social,
economic,
environmental
sustainability
dimensions,
to
eval-
uate
the
effectiveness
of
CSFs
and
other
seafood
businesses
in
strengthening
local
economies,
food
security
and
environmental
stewardship
efforts.
Acknowledgments
We
thank
Sanah
Seram
and
Dyhia
Belhabib
for
assistance
with
data
collection
and
Alan
Lovewell
and
Jason
Houston
for
the
use
of
images.
L.M.
is
funded
by
a
National
Science
Foundation
Interna-
tional
Postdoctoral
Fellowship
(Grant
no.
#
0965242).
D.A.
is
funded
by
the
Sea
Around
Us
Project,
a
scientific
collaboration
between
the
University
of
British
Columbia
and
the
Pew
Environment
Group.
JNK
is
funded
by
the
Center
for
Ocean
Solutions
at
Stanford
Univer-
sity
and
the
Gordon
Moore
Center
for
Science
and
Oceans
program.
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