Food

Fishadelphia Is Philly’s New Sustainable Seafood CSA

It's a Community Supported Fisheries (CSF) program organized and run by students.


Fishadelphia | Facebook

You guys know what CSAs are, right? They’re those programs where you pay a chunk of money to a group of farmers which entitles you to a share of their haul every week — sometimes really interesting stuff, sometimes a whole lot of turnips.

Well the CSA model works in a lot of different ways. There are cow-share programs where a group of people all get together and buy shares of a side of beef. And now, in South Philly, there’s Fishadelphia, which is a Community Supported Fisheries program designed to bring fresh seafood from New Jersey fisheries straight to consumers in the city.

Fishadelphia was developed by Talia Young, a post-doc researcher at Princeton’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Here’s how it will work:

Fishadelphia customers can sign up to receive eight biweekly seafood deliveries through May 17 at the Mastery Charter Thomas Campus in South Philadelphia. The day-to-day business operations of Fishadelphia are run by middle- and high-school students at Mastery Thomas. Each delivery will contain one kind of fish or shellfish – such as porgy, flounder, mackerel, dogfish, skate, clams, squid or crabs – from fisheries or shellfish farms in Cape May, Barnegat Light and Galloway, New Jersey…Fishadelphia’s goals are to promote affordable access to high-quality food in urban communities, while also supporting local fisheries at a time when the United States imports nearly 80 percent of its seafood.

And that’s pretty awesome. It brings the community together, helps local fishermen and, most importantly, puts fresh fish in the hands of people who might not otherwise have access. Plus, as part of the program, Young is organizing a field trip down to the docks in New Jersey so that customers can see where their fish is coming from (hint: the water), and a season’s end party where the fishermen and harvesters can have a chance to meet the people who’ve been eating their catch.

Here’s how the program is handling pricing, supply and delivery:

BLUE CLUB (whole fish)
COST
Regular membership: $160 for the whole season in advance
Community discount*: $10 / week or $70 for the whole season in advance
AMOUNT OF FISH
You will receive 1-5 whole fish (yielding ~2 lbs of fillet meat) in each shipment.
KINDS OF FISH**
Scup (porgy), flounder, mackerel, dogfish, skate, clams, squid, crabs

ORANGE CLUB (fillets)
COST
Regular membership: $192 for the whole season in advance
Community discount*: $14 / week or $98 for the whole season in advance
AMOUNT OF FISH
You will receive 2 lbs of fillets in each shipment.
KINDS OF FISH**
Scup (porgy), flounder, black sea bass, blackfish, dogfish, skate, clams, squid, crabs

*The community discount applies to any member who has a student enrolled at Mastery Charter Thomas, or who pays with SNAP, or who is referred by another member eligible for the community discount.

**Our goal is to provide you with the best, freshest fish at the lowest price. These lists of fish are our best guess but the kinds of fish may change based on availability and price.

So if you’re interested in getting fresh seafood every other week and helping out some local harvesters and fishermen in the process, you can sign up at www.fishadelphia.com. And you might want to hurry a little because the first pick-up is scheduled for February 8th, and it looks like they’re filling up pretty fast.


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