Once a major source of local fish in California, the coastal city of Monterey is now filled with restaurants serving farmed salmon and imported Asian shrimp. But a conservation group there wants to change that fact. Borrowing a marketing and distribution idea from its land-based counterparts, the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust is planning to launch a “fish hub,” designed to market and sell products from a variety of local producers in one central location.
Still in the planning stages, the Monterey fish hub could take many forms—it could be a facility, entirely virtual, or simply shared marketing. But the idea is a transparent business that brings Monterey fish, identified by the region and by the name and practices of fisherman who caught it, to both individual customers and large institutions in the area.
“Fishermen need a place where we can actually meet the public and introduce our products, and it can’t just come from one source—it needs to be a community effort,” says third-generation fisherman Giuseppe “Joe” Pennisi, who first generated the fish hub idea with Fisheries Trust Executive Director Sherry Flumerfelt back in January, 2015. Based out of the port in Monterey, Pennisi says he has no local market for his catch.