Building boats and fishing occupied every coastal town in Maine during the 1800’s. By 1855 Maine was building 35% of all of America’s ships, and its fisheries fed much of the country. Today Maine has only 20 miles of working waterfront left, and 80% of the seafood eaten in America is imported. In 2007 Port Clyde was the last surviving ground-fishing fleet between Portland and Canada. To save their livelihood a group of Port Clyde fishermen got together to found Port Clyde Fresh Catch and became the first community-supported fishery in the United States. The idea came from community-supported agriculture, a model used by farmers in which consumers pay a membership fee for weekly shares of food. These fishermen have preserved their fishing community, their maritime heritage, and by using environmentally sustainable fishing methods they are helping to preserve the fisheries. There are now dozens of community-supported fisheries in the USA and Europe.

On Thursday, September 10, at 7:00 pm the fishermen of Port Clyde Fresh Catch will be at Penobscot Marine Museum for an illustrated panel discussion about fishing in Maine, their pioneering community-supported fishery, how they started it, and Port Clyde Fresh Catch today. This community forum will be held in Penobscot Marine Museum’s Douglas and Margaret Carver Memorial Art Gallery, 11 Church Street, Searsport, Maine. Tickets are $8 or $5 for Penobscot Marine Museum Members. for more information, or to purchase tickets online, click here.