Smith Fellows
Smith Fellow


Managing the world’s fish in ways that are both ecologically and socially sustainable is a major challenge for conservation. Community supported fishery (CSF) programs, in which consumers commit to purchasing fish directly from harvesters for a full season, have been proposed to promote ecologically sustainable fishing practices while also benefiting fishing communities. CSF programs are increasing in number nationally, and could have substantial effects on fisheries ecology and economic and social features of fishing communities, but their effects are not well understood. CSFs also provide an opportunity for the conservation movement to connect with the food security and food justice movements. I propose to evaluate ecological, economic, and social impacts of CSFs on a national and local scale. To evaluate the ecological and economic effects of CSFs, I will partner with a national network of CSFs and the National Marine Fisheries Service to assess the effects of CSF programs across the country on both fishing patterns and economic indicators. To evaluate the social impacts of CSF participation for harvesters and consumers, I will work with a new CSF in southern New Jersey to assess its role in building connections between NJ harvesters and Philadelphia consumers, and fisheries sustainability and food access issues. Together, these components will provide the first comprehensive study to assess ecological, economic, and social effects of CSFs, and will provide critical information for both policy on and implementation of CSFs in the future.