The goal of this project is to facilitate a diverse and local sustainable fishing industry by raising public awareness of the benefits and value of supporting locally caught and grown fish and shellfish. The scientists will meet this goal “using an inductive approach by leveraging San Diego’s ethnic diversity and desire for healthier diets, and the Port of San Diego s collaborative plan for two direct seafood markets.” The project has four main objectives: to 1) determine public demand for local product and the ability of fishers and growers to supply consumers with products they will purchase, 2) identify and address limitations to the public consuming more seafood, 3) raise public awareness of the local fishing industry and diversity of its products and 4) identify species of emerging public interest to facilitate the development of management strategies before demand increases. On September 2, 2013, the scientists and their many collaborators hosted a seafood tasting, survey and outreach event at San Diego Bay. At the highly successful event, about 200 participants voted on their likelihood of buying species they had just sampled in expertly prepared dishes and they took a 30-minute survey on their knowledge and interest in local seafood. There was also public information on seafood nutrition, and separate morning and afternoon events to better reach key audiences, namely East African American women and urban seafood consumers likely to support the locavore movement. Analyses of the survey results are ongoing. In the coming months, scientists will hold workshops aimed at San Diego’s fishermen and aquaculturists and San Diego consumer groups, and will follow up with each of the groups surveyed.
Testing the Feasibility of Urban Coastal Direct Seafood Markets