Did you know that most of the seafood harvested from the shores surrounding Martha’s Vineyard is shipped off-Island to various locations? Part of the Martha’s Vineyard Fisherman’s Preservation Trust’s mission is to help increase the supply of locally sourced seafood for Island restaurants and markets – to keep Island seafood on-Island. The Martha’s Vineyard Seafood Collaborative is working to keep our seafood bounty on the Vineyard. Martha’s Vineyard Seafood Collaborative Launches Community Supported Seafood Program
In January 2022, the Martha’s Vineyard Seafood Collaborative launched a pilot program, the Community Supported Seafood Program, which is open to the public. Fishermen and women bring their harvest to the MVSC dock in Menemsha where their bounty is on “consignment” and sold to the people.
Martha’s Vineyard Seafood Collaborative Launches Community Supported Seafood Program – Scallops, Oysters And More
The first community-supported seafood program offered fresh bay scallops and wild oysters from Sengekontacket Pond. You signed up online for what you wanted and paid at pick-up. I signed up for 25 oysters — always my favorite Island treat from the waters.
How did I find out about this great opportunity? I was lucky enough to find out on Facebook. However, you can learn about MVSC happenings on the website & MVSC social media outlets.
I ordered my oysters on Thursday for a Friday pick-up. Ordering was very easy and it was nice to have a reason to head to Menemsha. Not that you need an excuse to take in the stunning views, no matter the time of year. I must admit that I do miss Ssummer Menemsha Sunsets, but soon enough!
Martha’s Vineyard Seafood Collaborative Launches Community Supported Seafood Program Off-Season Offerings
Martha’s Vineyard Seafood Collaborative’s Director of Operations, Peter Lambos, was on-site to hand out orders. He said there was a lot of interest in this first venture which is encouraging for this opportunity moving forward.
Peter hopes to offer people the chance to buy fresh seafood from the MV Seafood Collaborative weekly off-season. He is not sure how things will look in the summer. In the winter months, there are not a lot of seafood options. However, it’s shellfish time — clams and oysters are being harvested. These will definitely be offered. He said the bay scallops were a bit of a treat for this order. However, they could come back, after all, they did sell out.
In the Summer, there is a lot more seafood available, lobsters, Sea Bass, Fluke, shellfish and more, but that is not really until June. There may be some squid before then and definitely more shellfish for purchasing through the MVSC.
Part of the challenge of being so local is that you don’t always know what you will have to sell, what the boats will bring in. It’s always interesting to see what the day will bring.
I asked about the “consignment” of the fishermen’s haul. Pete said that the market is always in flux. So to make sure the fishermen get the best price, they’re paid for their catch after it’s sold.
The MVFPT and the MVSC are great resources for our local fishermen and the community. Having the freshest seafood is one of the great things about being on Martha’s Vineyard. Having it more accessible to businesses and people on Island year-round is not only important but also necessary to maintain the fishing industry and for preserving the Menemsha waterfront.
Currently, the Martha’s Vineyard Seafood Collaborative is owned by the MVFPT. However, the goal is to make the business self-sustaining and operate without being subsidized by grants and donations and be a good source of financial security for fishermen. To learn more, click here.
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