The PlanSector

Fishing

Goal 4

The local seafood system will be collaborative and networked.

Image courtesy of Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance

In recent decades fishing communities have been in decline. Massachusetts’ seafood industry needs greater collaboration to define solutions for its future. The sectors are disjointed and have little insight into the realities and opportunities across areas from fishing to processing to retail. Businesses within the same sectors see each other as competitors and rarely as potential collaborators. Other stakeholders in the seafood system, including fishery businesses, scientists, and government could benefit from increased communication and information-sharing.

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Recommendations

  1. 4.1 Build collaborative networks and ensure fishing industry representation in government and policy arenas.
    1. Actions:
    2. 4.1.1 Create a seat for the Commissioner of The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game on the Massachusetts Food Policy Council.
    3. 4.1.2 Add a position to the Massachusetts Food Policy Council Advisory Committee for a representative of the fishing industry.
    4. 4.1.3 Support and collaborate with the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Shellfish advisory panel to establish an interagency committee to review and update shellfish regulations and policies. The committee should also be informed by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference.
    5. 4.1.4 Build collaborative networks comprised of a range of state agencies including the Departments of Marine Fisheries, Agricultural Resources, Environmental Protection, Public Health, and the Massachusetts Office of Business Development to develop and implement strategies that grow the local seafood system.
    6. 4.1.5 Build collaborative networks comprised of a range of businesses, organizations, and institutions with interest and stake in development of the local seafood system.
    7. 4.1.7 Create and maintain a database to enable coordination and collaboration between the multitude of organizations and institutions with ties to local commercial fishing.
    8. 4.1.8 Conduct an assessment of the local seafood system to identify opportunities and gaps in the industry. Share data and findings with local seafood industry stakeholders.