Locally caught seafood is good for you and your community. Plus it’s usually fresher and tastier than grocery store options.

Here’s just a few reasons to support the seafood industry local to you.

SHORTER SUPPLY CHAIN

Local seafood usually travels through only a few supply chain links to get to your plate: the fishermen, the fish house, the processor, and finally the retailer or restaurant. The fewer links in the chain, the more likely your fishmonger is to know where and when the seafood was caught. Also, the shorter time seafood has to travel to your plate, the fresher it will be when it gets there.

The United States imports more than 80% of its seafood. Much of that is caught here, flown overseas for cutting and processing, then flown back to sell in US grocery stores. That round-the-world trip racks up carbon emissions along the way. Seafood that is locally caught, locally cut, and locally sold has a substantially smaller carbon footprint.

RESPONSIBLE EATING

Local fishmongers have more seafood options than the supermarket. Grocery stores traditionally carry the most popular species: tuna, salmon, cod, etc. Because they’re so popular, these species are more likely to be overfished and face population decline.

Your local fishmonger will have more variety, often including species that are underutilized. They’ll have an extensive knowledge of the fish itself and will be able to coach you through recipes and preparation of species you’re unfamiliar with. Talk to your fishmonger about what options have the healthiest populations and ask them questions about the flavor, texture, and cooking methods.

By eating lesser known species you are relieving the pressure on overfished populations. Plus your dinner plate will never get boring!

LOCAL SUPPORTS LOCAL

Buying local allows you to support your state’s commercial fishing industry. Here in North Carolina, fishing has been a way of life for generations. Your purchase of local seafood supports an entire industry of fish houses, boat captains, oyster farmers, processors, distributors, and more.

A strong commercial fishing economy makes for stronger coastal economies overall. Healthy coastal economies are better prepared for storms, can more effectively plan for tourism and development.