Here are some characteristics of a CSF, although there are many models being implemented today:
- Modeled after Community Supported Agriculture, a Community Supported Fishery is a community of consumers collaborating with local fishermen to buy fish directly for a predetermined length of time.
- CSF members (also called shareholders) give fishermen financial support in advance of the season, and in turn receive a weekly share of seafood caught during the season.
- A CSF reconnects people to the ocean and can help build rewarding relationships between fishermen and shareholders. This takes a little extra planning since, typically, CSF members do not come to the wharf to pick up their share.
- The fishermen benefit by receiving necessary resources early in the season, bridging the gap between pre-season expenses and fishing-season income.
- By direct sales to community members, fishermen reconnect with their broader community, receive better prices for their catch and gain financial security.
- As members of a CSF, consumers have the benefit of knowing their fish is caught locally and that their investment is strengthening the local community.