Re: Your editorial “Our View: Food hubs would link Maine’s small farms to new markets” (April 24):
While I appreciate the attention the Portland Press Herald and its editors have paid to the local agricultural food movement, I’m disappointed in the lack of incorporation of the needs of the seafood sector when it comes to outreach, education and awareness of food hubs.
While many consumers overlook seafood when they think about buying local, Maine has a fantastic fleet that sustainably targets species like pollock, flounder, lobsters, scallops and shellfish. We need to support and recognize the importance of seafood in our local food movement.
The local food movement has made great strides in getting people to think about local food production and consumption. Although that work is not complete, now is the time to start incorporating Maine’s iconic fishing industry into these discussions. L.D. 1431, the bill mentioned in the editorial, would have done just that.
Often we only hear about negative things occurring in fisheries, but it is important to note that we have a management system in place for the majority of our fisheries that determines catch levels based on scientific assessments, coupled with strict regulations, thus ensuring that fish landed in the state of Maine is sustainably harvested. This holds true for almost every species caught by U.S. boats.
Enjoying domestic seafood is the best way to promote sustainable fisheries and good fishing practices. Consumers have many questions in regard to seafood: what to buy; where to get it, and even how to cook it.
It is my hope that the Press Herald, and those working within the local food movement, will help spread the message that buying local, fresh, Maine-caught seafood is a choice that is healthy, sustainable, delicious and good for the local economy.