What’s a Community Supported Fishery?
The easiest way to describe a CSF is as a variation on a “veg box” scheme, but with very fresh fish! One variation is that most of our members collect from a local pick up point, rather than having home delivery, but we hope this strengthens the community element of the enterprise and encourages support of our local pubs, butchers, cafes and social enterprises. CSFs help make a connection between local fishermen and lovers of sustainable fish by bringing their catch straight from the boat to the membership.
How does it work?
The members pay upfront online for a “season”(a 4, 8 or 12 week period), choosing the weight and frequency of their order – You can choose from 0.75KG, 1.5KG and 2.25KG, either weekly or fortnightly (so for example, a 12 week season fortnightly gives you 6 portions of fish), and if any of the collection dates don’t suit you, just drop us an email to guy @faircatch.co.uk with the dates you would like.
What kind of fish will I get?
Each weekly collection will bring a different selection of fish and that’s all part of the fun. You’ll be offered whatever the fishermen have caught that day, which means you’ll be eating seasonally and will have an opportunity to try a wide variety of species over the course of the season. One of the aims of a CSF is to encourage people to consume less familiar but equally delicious species, reducing the pressure on over-exploited resources, reducing discards and helping to preserve fish stocks. Faircatch will only supply the freshest possible fish – the catch comes off the boat, is put on ice and is brought straight up the motorway to Wandsworth, bypassing any wholesalers or distributors, so some of the fish you eat on a Friday evening may only have been out of the sea for 6 hours! It doesn’t get any fresher than that. Now that we operate unmanned collection points (our hosts kindly dispense it from their fridge), we can’t offer a choice but we do try hard to ensure you get a different species each week and it will all be incredibly fresh and delicious. The fish generally comes whole, much of the time it will be gutted, though occasionally it will need gutting and scaling (which really isn’t difficult!), and then all you need to do is pop it in a pan or the oven.
What “share” to choose?
The three different options for a share are 0.75 KG, 1.5 KG and 2.25 KG. The fish is so fresh it will remain in great condition in the fridge if you find you can’t eat it all in one go. Broadly, 0.75 kg will feed two adults; 1.5kg will feed a family of four; and 2.25kg can stretch to 6 servings (or 2 meals for 3 people obviously). However, this is slightly dependent on the species of fish and your appetite! There are some pictures on the sign up page that might help you have a clearer idea of what these weights look like. Fish don’t come in standard sizes, so our weights have to be approximate and some weeks you might be a little under, others a little over. If it’s over, it’s our treat, if it’s under, we’ll always make up the difference at your next collection.
What happens if I’m away on holiday for one of my pickups? or my plans change at short notice?
That’s not a problem, just let us know at the time of booking which weeks you’d like fish. If your plans change during your booking, just let us know (by Tuesday evening) and you can double up on one of your other Fridays or we’ll give you an extra week at the end. If something unexpected happens that means you can’t collect your fish, please try and have a friend get it for you because you have paid for it and I’m afraid we can’t offer refunds. However, if that isn’t possible, we will at least find a grateful recipient for your share that week.
How do I make the most of my membership?
One of the aims of a CSF is help people become more comfortable with preparing and eating a wider range of the delicious fish landed at the closest parts of our coastline. We will feature videos and recipes on our website and Facebook page to help you with filleting and cooking and at some point we will be offering fish preparation workshops with a skilled professional to show you how it’s done.
Will I always get my fish?
Faircatch sources exclusively from day boats that are less than 10m long and if the weather’s bad, it’s not safe for them to go out. If that happens, we’ll let you know as early as possible and double your share the following week or give you the option of an additional date.
We hope this answers most questions but if you’re not sure about something, please drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.