Dock to Dish, the first community and restaurant supported fishery program anchored in Montauk, announced last week it would open Florida’s first ever Community Supported Fishery (CSF) in Key West in February of this year. The program is being developed in conjunction with Key West restaurateur Chris Holland and the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association. According to Dock to Dish founder Sean Barrett, the goal of this new enterprise is to bring the health benefits of locally harvested fish and seafood back to local consumers while also strengthening the in-state commercial fishing industry.
“This is the first small step in what we hope will become a Florida-wide enterprise that brings commercial fisherman, consumers, and restaurant owners together in a cause that will improve the community’s health and businesses,” said Mr. Barrett. “And do so deliciously.”
Mr. Barrett said that he picked Key West to be the second Dock to Dish market for one reason—Mr. Holland.
“We get contacted regularly about all kinds of things, but when Chris reached out we immediately knew this was a special situation,” said Mr. Barrett. “He has been working in Key West on solving the same problems we are working on in Montauk, where all too often what we see on the menus and in the grocery stores comes far from our local waters. Chris is solution-driven and speaks the language of ‘fresh’ fluently.”
“Americans need to take a stand now against the large Asian and South American fish farms that are negatively impacting our commercial fishing industry and poisoning unsuspecting consumers,” said Mr. Holland, owner of the Stoned Crab Restaurant. “People think that the fish they are buying in supermarkets is safe, inspected, and healthy — when it is none of these things. In fact, nearly 90-percent of all the seafood consumed by Americans is imported and much of the fish that is imported comes from sources that are barely regulated or often completely unregulated.”
According to Mr. Barrett and Mr. Holland, the new Dock to Dish Key West Community Supported Fishery will be launched in support of and in conjunction with the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association, under the leadership of executive director Bill Kelly.
“We are proud to be a part of this historic enterprise to bring fresh seafood back to Key West and strengthen the livelihoods of our commercial fishermen and our island economy,” said Mr. Kelly. “Seafood is a renewable natural resource and cooperative efforts between fishery managers and stakeholders have kept all key indicator species in the Florida Keys at sustainable levels. Every year, our fleet harvests responsible amounts of seafood, which allows for stocks to rebuild themselves.”
Initial plans call for Dock to Dish to launch its Community Supported Fishery memberships by June 2015 at a Dock to Dish Seafood Market that will open at the IBIS Bay Beach Resort, 3101 North Roosevelt Boulevard in Key West on February 14, Valentine’s Day.