Trawl to Table

Fostering connections between members of the seafood supply chain to boost the market for local seafood

Trawl to Table workshops bring together players from throughout the seafood supply chain to learn and share information. The workshops dig into the challenges and opportunities for sourcing more seafood from the Gulf of Maine by connecting those directly involved in buying and selling seafood. Though inextricably linked through the supply chain, these distinct groups rarely have the chance to network and communicate. Trawl to Table workshops help people make the connections necessary to grow the market for local seafood.

Trawl to Table Goals for Businesses:

  • Discover opportunities to source more seafood from the Gulf of Maine.
  • Learn more about seafood sustainability and use that knowledge to educate customers and staff.
  • Network and build relationships throughout the seafood supply chain.
  • Identify opportunities for working together to build markets for Gulf of Maine seafood.

"I especially appreciate the format of these events... a little bit of science, with some outdoor place-based fishing education, networking, and engagement of individuals representing the entire supply chain. Even the settings of these events, on the ocean, is fabulous!

Trawl to Table event participant

Since GMRI began conducting Trawl to Table workshops in 2012, hundreds of seafood supply chain businesses and individuals have attended these events in Portland, Portsmouth, Gloucester, Boston, and New Bedford. The workshops are designed for a broad group of stakeholders, including fishermen, seafood processors and dealers, fish markets and supermarkets, institutional dining operations at universities or hospitals, restaurant chefs and servers, and more. Over the years, we have seen many indications that establishing deeper connections among supply chain members leads to greater demand for the full diverse range of Gulf of Maine seafood.

How does it work?

Trawl to Table is a day-long workshop where participants learn about a variety of current fishing and seafood industry topics.

Past sessions have included:

  • Fishing gear demonstrations from fishermen and GMRI gear technologists
  • Fisheries management 101
  • Current and future climate impacts on fisheries with GMRI scientists
  • Dock talks with local fishermen
  • Opportunities to source underutilized species
  • Seafood processing facility tours
  • Aquaculture facility tours and gear demonstrations
  • Quality handling demonstrations
  • Panel discussions with chefs and retailers

Networking and discussions at Trawl to Table workshops have uncovered new relationships and opportunities. Post-event surveys and interviews show that more than half of participants reported that they planned to follow up on a new business connection after the event. Additionally, for 60% of restaurant and food service staff that attended, the workshop sparked a major shift in their efforts to source significantly more seafood from the Gulf of Maine.

"Being newer to the seafood industry, I have enjoyed learning about catch methods and how important it is to not generalize good vs. bad methods. I will now do my best to be an advocate for educating consumers and customers on this concept.

Major food distributor
In this edition of Field Notes, Kyle Foley discusses Trawl to Table, a workshop event series we developed to foster connections between members of the seafood supply chain to boost the market for local seafood.

Staff Contact

If you are a member of the seafood supply chain interested in learning more about our Trawl to Table workshops, please contact Adam Baukus.

Adam Baukus
Adam Baukus Sustainable Seafood Program Manager (207) 228-1691 [email protected]

Project Sponsor

Funding for Trawl to Table has been generously provided by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

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