Regional Seafood System Partnership

Strengthening and Building Resilience in a Regional Seafood System.

Despite the healthy, abundant fisheries available in New England, regional fish is challenged to compete with inexpensive, imported seafood. We are collaborating with organizations around the region to build value and demand for local seafood with the collective goal of achieving a resilient seafood system.

Project Goals:

  • Provide fishermen with better data to help them make informed decisions about investments in improved quality handling, with the goal of achieving greater value.
  • Assess quality handling at key points in the seafood supply chain to determine what kind of improvements can be made.
  • Train fishermen in core quality handling practices, co-develop additional vessel improvements with fishermen, and connect fishermen and processors to financial resources to increase quality, efficiency, and safety.
  • Build demand and commitments to high quality regional seafood with regional buyers (restaurants, foodservice, retail) to develop a stable market for fishermen’s high-quality product.

The Regional Seafood System Partnership is funded by a three-year grant from the USDA’s Regional Food System Partnerships program. Led by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the partnership includes the following collaborators:

This partnership’s broad goal is to collaborate across nonprofit and industry stakeholders to strengthen, build, and develop the conditions for a successful 21st century regional seafood system. Regional seafood represents a great opportunity to provide a healthy, responsibly harvested, climate-friendly source of local protein for New England, as well as a decent livelihood for coastal communities, fishing families, and the seafood supply chain.

Two men attend to mechanisms on their green boat. Both are facing away from the camera, the man on the left is in blue and the circle on his back that reads 'Safety first" has a green background with white text.
This is a close up photo showing three columns of stacked containers of varying colors, with handle ropes of different colors dangling downward in U-shapes.

Our partnership is comprised of organizations that have long histories of working individually and together to improve the business opportunities for fishermen and markets for regional seafood. We include two fishing associations, one nonprofit research institution, two lending and business assistance partners, a seafood offloading site and auction, and a mid-tier seafood value chain business.

Fishermen and the seafood supply chain need to be able to capture a fair value for seafood harvested here in order to make a decent living and grow their businesses. We aim to grow the value and market opportunities for New England fishing communities through increasing available information about where to make improvements in the seafood supply chain, improving seafood quality, and building demand and value for regional seafood. Our goals of improving value and demand for regional seafood are fundamental needs for the long-term viability and resilience of our region’s seafood system

Project Team

Project Sponsor

This project is funded by a grant from the USDA's Regional Food Systems Partnership Program.

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