Coast to coast Canadian waters are home to some of the most delicious and sustainable seafood in the world. One Ocean Wise partner bringing local seafood to Vancouver and beyond is Skipper Otto’s  Community Supported Fishery (CFS). Based on the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model used by many farmers to market their produce, Skipper Otto’s helps create a direct connection between local fisherman with the joint goal of protecting ocean resources and improving our local food system.

Skippers Otto 2

Shaun Strobel works to provide sustainable seafood to locals.

Founded by Shaun and Sonia Strobel, Skipper Otto’s CFS started in 2008 with just 40 local members and two fishermen, including Shaun’s father Otto. By eliminating the middlemen and providing seafood directly from fishermen to its members, the CFS helps fishermen receive a fair price for their product while also connecting consumers more fully with where their seafood comes from.

The environmental benefits are also clear. Skipper Otto’s is committed to protecting marine ecosystems, and pays a premium to fishermen for Ocean Wise recommended seafood. That premium allows fishermen to use more sustainable fishing techniques that reduce habitat damage and unintentional bycatch, two major concerns with many modern fishing methods. The local deliveries also help reduce the environmental impacts associated with preserving and transporting imported seafood.

The CFS concept is certainly catching on. Skipper Otto’s now works with 15 fishermen to supply over 1,200 members with locally caught sustainable seafood. They have also moved beyond Vancouver with regular deliveries to Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Sustainable local seafood in Vancouver

Visitors check out the daily catch.

As an Ocean Wise partner, Sonia sees value in helping CFS members learn about sustainability and says: “Ocean Wise makes it so easy for us to communicate our sustainability values to our members. Often prospective members aren’t even sure what questions to ask about sustainability in seafood. The Ocean Wise label gives them a quick assurance that what they are buying is ethical and environmentally responsible.”

In 2015, Ocean Wise celebrates 10 years as a national leader in sustainable seafood. We also invite you to join us in supporting the local producer, supplier, and retail partners whose dedication to sustainable practices helps ensure that there are fish in Canadian waters for generations to come.

Visit oceanwise.ca for a full list of retail and supplier partners.

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