Community Supported Fishery Program to Come to UCSB

Analogous to ‘farm share’ programs created by the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement, consumers will pay upfront for their seafood share at the beginning of a fishing season, purchasing directly from the fishermen. Shares will be delivered in set quantities to a pick-up location each week throughout the season.

Project Co-Leader Carrie Culver, Ph.D. (UC academic faculty, California Sea Grant Extension Program) said, “CSFs are a win-win situation for the entire community. Citizens will learn more about fishing activities occurring in their own backyard and be able to make informed decisions about the seafood they consume and the management of local marine resources. Local fishermen and businesses involved with the CSF will benefit from the support provided through the program.”

Kim Selkoe, Ph.D., is a research scientist at the Marine Science Institute and Volunteer Director of the Santa Barbara Sustainable Seafood Program. She is co-leading the CSF program and noted “a student-run CSF program called ‘Walking Fish’ at Duke University has been wildly successful and will be a model for [UCSB’s] CSF.”

Currently, over 95% of the seafood consumed by the community of Santa Barbara, including UCSB, is imported. Additionally, at least 95% of the seafood caught locally is exported. Part of the problem is that there is no local seafood processing in Santa Barbara. And the price mark-ups for local seafood are significant. A campus-wide CSF will address these concerns and make UCSB a national role model in the sustainable seafood movement, as well as in its support of the local fishing community and economy.

Stephanie Mutz, a commercial fisherman and Research Coordinator of Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara added, “California fisheries have some of the most stringent regulations and well managed fisheries in the world, and we (fishermen) embrace those regulations if it protects our marine ecosystem while providing food for the community. A CSF provides an opportunity for us to fish less and make more money to support our families.”

Heather Lahr, a graduate student at the Bren School for Environmental Science and Management, said, “because CSF participants essentially own a share of the seafood out in the Channel, our hope is that participation will lead to a deepened sense of ocean stewardship and pride in local ocean resources.”

The group hopes to launch the CSF in 2012 and expects that students and other members of the campus community will play a major role in running the program. The Coastal Fund grant provides two quarters of support for groundwork planning and an undergraduate internship. Visit for the latest updates on the program.

Coastal Fund is a student-funded, student-run organization that serves to preserve, protect, and enhance the terrestrial and marine habitats associated with the UCSB shoreline. Since the fall of 1999, Coastal Fund has granted $1.68 million to over 417 projects.

For more information on projects and funding opportunities visit


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