Innovative partnerships help fishermen and seafood farmers share the bounty of the sea with those who have less.
Read about four initiatives around the country that helped provide a stable market for local fishermen and strengthen coastal communities, including MIT Sea Grant’s work with the Small Boats Bring Big Taste program. >>Read the full story via NOAA Fisheries
MIT Sea Grant Spotlight: Small Boats Bring Big Taste to New England Food Banks
Off the coast of Massachusetts, small-boat independent fishermen who sell much of their catch overseas suffered as the pandemic disrupted global supply chains. Seeking to expand local markets, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sea Grant worked to connect the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance to regional food banks and the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program.
MIT Sea Grant provided COVID Rapid Response funds to the fishermen to develop and pilot a new value-added seafood product that would be easy to distribute and scale. Small haddock, often called “snapper haddock,” are plentiful to catch but difficult to market as fillets. However, they are great for chopping into chowder. Branded “Small Boats, Big Taste,” the prepackaged individual servings of haddock chowder now support an entire production chain in Massachusetts. The haddock is caught by fishermen from Cape Cod, filleted by a seafood company in Boston, and made into chowder by a local soup company in Lowell.
For food bank clients, the frozen chowder portions are easy to take home, reheat, and enjoy. Its immediate popularity helped the program secure additional funding. By the end of this year, they expect to have donated more than 1 million servings of haddock chowder to food assistance programs across New England.