As a coastal state with an abundant and diverse variety of fish species, all Massachusetts residents, regardless of income, should be able to find and afford local seafood in nearby stores and other venues. To date, seafood marketing efforts have been concerned with the viability of small fishing operations in the State, and increasing workforce earnings. To tackle the challenges of increasing affordability of seafood while also justly compensating fishing businesses, it will be necessary to develop a suite of strategies that include new market opportunities and subsidy and incentive programs.
While efforts to increase the affordability of local seafood lag behind efforts to increase affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables, advocates for affordable seafood can learn from successful models already in place for produce. Incentive programs that double customer purchasing capacity, direct to consumer marketing, distribution to schools and hospitals, and other models can be tailored to affordable seafood distribution.