August 22-28 is #FindYourSeafoodWeek

Orono, ME –The Local Catch Network (LCN), based in the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine, is working with fisheries scientist and science communicator, Emily De Sousa, to facilitate the second annual #FindYourSeafoodWeek to help connect community members directly with fishers and seafood harvesters and to raise awareness of community-based fisheries across the United States and Canada.

The Find Your Seafood Week is a social media campaign that runs from August 22-28 and increases the visibility of domestic seafood harvesters and businesses that participate in direct marketing. The initiative was inspired last year, after the pandemic exposed the importance of community-based fisheries in building resilient local and regional seafood systems. While global supply chains faltered, the direct-to-consumer businesses within the Local Catch Network saw an uptick in community support. During the last Find Your Seafood Week campaign, approximately 1,200 people visited LCN’s Seafood Finder, an interactive directory of local seafood businesses, over the course of a week. With media coverage by CNN, Good Morning America, and other local, regional, and national outlets, the total potential media research exceeded 234 million people throughout the duration of the 2021 #FYSW campaign.

“We know that consumers want to eat more local and sustainable seafood; now it’s up to us to help them find it.” says Emily De Sousa. “Find Your Seafood Week is one way that fishers, seafood organizations and advocates are collaborating to raise awareness about the role of community-based fisheries and to strengthen relationships between fishermen and their communities.”

This year Local Catch Network is able to work with Emily De Sousa with the support of grant funding from the Leadership for Climate-Resilient Fisheries Fellowship from Sustainable Ocean Alliance and Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate-Resilient Fisheries and Oceans team. Emily is the project lead on the fellowship and will be bringing her expertise in digital marketing and communication to support the Find Your Seafood Week campaign and facilitate capacity building sessions. These trainings will aid fishers and seafood harvesters in developing social media and storytelling skills, so they can become self-sustaining, self-marketers.

The Local Catch Network invites community members to join the “boat-to-fork” movement by using the Seafood Finder to learn more about community-based fishing businesses, the locations they operate, the number of fishermen they partner with, and the types of catch they offer during #FindYourSeafoodWeek and beyond.

To access the Seafood Finder tool, visit https://finder.localcatch.org/.

About Local Catch Network

The Local Catch Network, based at the University of Maine, is an inclusive, values-based network of 500+ seafood harvesters, researchers, and community organizations from across North America. LCN members support and promote safe, direct, transparent and profitable “boat-to-fork” systems of local and regional seafood distribution, such as Community Supported Fisheries (CSFs) and similar models. LCN is governed by a volunteer Executive Committee responsible for supporting the growth and development of the network, with backbone support from the North American Marine Alliance. FMI: https://localcatch.org/.

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