2016 Seafood Summit

Moving Community Supported Fisheries & Values-Based Fishing Businesses Forward

About the Summit

More than 100 community leaders and representatives from across North America  came together for the 2016 Local Seafood Summit to connect and continue to build a network that is committed to supporting social, ecological, and economic sustainability by way of local and direct seafood marketing.

The goal of the summit was to bring together those engaged in community supported fisheries (CSFs) and direct marketing arrangements to (1) facilitate knowledge exchange and networking; (2) increase the fiscal and structural viability of local and direct marketing efforts; and (3) develop a shared understanding of the core principles that underlie these initiatives so that the integrity of the movement remains intact as it expands.

2022 Summit

February 16 – 18, 2016
Norfolk, Virginia

Summit event location:
Slover Library, 235 E Plume St, Norfolk, VA, 23510

Field Trip to Coastal North Carolina
February 18-20, 2016


2016 Summit Details

The 2016 summit will be held at the Slover Library in Norfolk, Virginia


PLEASE NOTE: This is a snapshot of the conference. A final agenda will be available shortly.

February 16 (Day 1)

10:00 – 12:00 pm – Registration

1:00 – 1:20 pm – Summit Welcome

1:20 – 1:40 pm – Keynote, Sonia Strobel, Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery

1:40 – 2:00 pm – Examining Our Values, Brett Tolley, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance 

2:00 – 3:00 pm – Marketplace of Ideas

3:00 – 3:30 pm – Break

3:30 – 4:30 pm – Marketplace of Ideas

4:30 – 4:45 pm – Wrap-up, Logistics & Overview of Day Two

5:00 – 6:00 pm – Networking Happy Hour

6:30 – 9:00 pm – Seafood Showcase and Welcome Dinner at the Culinary Institute of Virginia

February 17 (Day 2)

8:00 am – Breakfast (at Hotel)

8:30 – 8:45 am –Warm up activity, Niaz Dorry and Shira Tiffany, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance 

9:20 – 10:50 am – Session I Workshops

I. Strategic Frameworks, Kelly Sayce (Strategic Earth Consulting) and Marc Purchin (Purchin Consulting)

II. Marketing and traceability, Joe Falcone (FishLine), Molly Bajgot (Red’s Best), Paula Moughton (Fresher)

III. Operational Systems and Human Resources, Chris Kantowicz (Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery)

IV. Working with restaurants and other institutional buyers, Leslie Clements and Karen Burns ((Sensible Seafood Program at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center), Jason Congleton (Sodexo), Dan Elinan (Catch 31 Fish House and Bar and Salacia at the Hilton Virginia Beach
Oceanfront), Patrick Evans-Hylton (Coastal Virginia Magazine; Media Awards Judge at the James Beard Foundation), Daniel Vogt (Big Island Aquaculture/Vogt Oyster Company)

11:00 – 12:30

I. Business Planning, Stephanie Webb (UC Santa Cruz)

II. Storytelling in the Digital Age, Maria Finn (Real Good Fish)

III. Product Management Tools, Tim Sheehan (Gulf of Maine, Inc.), Stacy Duty (Weigh & Pay Solutions)

IV. Principles and Core Values in Practice, Brett Tolley (Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance), Joshua Stoll (University of Maine)

12:30 -1:30 pm – Lunch!

1:30 – 3:00 pm – Understanding the Role Direct Marketing and Community Supported Fisheries Play in Supporting Local Economies, Alison Witter (University of British Columbia)

3:00 – 3:30 pm – Session III Workshops

I. Raising Capital, Arno Hesse (Credibles & Slow Money), Niaz Dorry (Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance), Kelly Harrell (Alaska Marine Conservation Council)

II. Future trends and opportunities: Where will we be in five or ten years? Erik Chapman (University of New Hampshire and New Hampshire Sea Grant)

III. Herding Herring: Choosing the right organizational structure for your CSF and getting your board, staff and members heading in the same direction, Lynda Brushett

5:45 – 7:00 pm – Dinner (on your own)

7:00 – Late – Night Owls Social Networking

February 18 (Day 3)

8:00 am – Breakfast (at Hotel)

9:00 – 9:15 am – Welcome & Overview of the Day

9:15 – 10:45 pm – Principles and Values: Sharing What We’ve Learned, Brett Tolley (North Atlantic Marine Alliance)

11:00 – 11:45 pm – Next Steps: How do we keep up momentum? What can LocalCatch.org do to help?

11:45 – 12:00 pm – Reflection

12:00 pm – Conference Adjourns

1:00 pm – North Carolina field trip crew departs!

Through the generous donations of our sponsors, a limited number of travel awards were available for fishermen/women to attend the 2016 summit.


The Courtyard Marriott Downtown Norfolk is offering a discounted rate of $89/night (+ taxes and fees), which includes free continental breakfast and free valet parking. The Courtyard is conveniently located at 520 Plume Street, 3 blocks east of the Slover Library.

We encourage early booking to ensure room availability. To get the discounted rate, you must book by January 30, 2016 through one of the following methods:

  • Phone: 1-800-894-7956 or 757-963-6000. Callers must mention the Local Seafood Summit 2016.
  • Online (direct link): This is the direct link to the Local Seafood Summit group reservation site.
  • Online (general reservation site): Go online to http://courtyardnorfolk.com/. Select your dates, expand the special rates, select group codes, enter the code “LSSLSSA” for a king room, or “LSSLSSB” for two queens.

Getting to/from Norfolk

  • Airport: Norfolk International Airport (ORF) is approximately 9 miles from downtown Norfolk. It is serviced by American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, and United.
  • Train: Amtrak’s Northeast Regional Train has daily service to Norfolk (NFK) from Boston, New York, Washington DC, and other cities along the northeast corridor. The train station is only a mile from downtown.
  • Other options: The Williamsburg/Newport News Airport (PHF; 30 miles from Norfolk) and Richmond International Airport (RIC; 90 miles from Norfolk) may provide some alternative flight options. There are also additional Amtrak trains to Richmond and Williamsburg. Please keep in mind that transportation to/from Norfolk will be very challenging and expensive.

Getting around Norfolk

  • Airport shuttles: Orange Peel Transportation (757-463-7500) and James River Transportation (757-963-0433) both provide shuttle service from the airport to downtown Norfolk. Reserve in advance; discounts for larger groups.
  • Taxis: Black and White Cabs (757-855-4444) and Yellow Cab (757-855-7388). Approximately $20 from the airport to downtown.
  • Uber and Lyft: Both ride share companies operate in the Norfolk area and are estimated to be less than $20 from the airport to downtown.
  • The Tide Light Rail: The Tide is an option for getting around the local downtown Norfolk area. The MacArthur Square Station is only a block away from Slover Library.
  • Elizabeth River Ferry: The ferry connects Norfolk with the city of Portsmouth, with a Ferry stop a few blocks from the Slover Library on the Norfolk waterfront.
  • Free Ride Every Day (FRED): Call ahead at 757-478-7233 and get a free ride around downtown from a battery-operated people mover.

Twenty summit participants participated in a 3-day field excursion to coastal North Carolina starting on Friday afternoon at the conclusion of the conference. This field trip was organized by North Carolina Sea Grant and NC Catch. The purpose of the trip was to learn more about the innovative direct marketing strategies being used in the region and showcase some of the challenges and opportunities that small-scale fishers face.

A brief itinerary is as follows:

February 18 – Norfolk, VA to Cape Hatteras, NC

February 19 – Cape Hatteras, NC to Ocracoke Island, NC to Cedar Island, NC to Beaufort, NC

February 20 – Beaufort, NC to Harker’s Island, NC to Norfolk, VA

A full itinerary can be downloaded here.


Since the National Summit on Community Supported Fisheries in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 2012, many new CSFs and mission-driven direct marketing arrangements have been established across North America and beyond. At the same time, existing CSFs – some of which have been operating for nearly ten years – have matured, evolving in structure and practice. This organic growth has been catalyzed by local innovation, resulting in a diverse range of place-based solutions that seek to address threats to safe and sustainable seafood supply and ocean conservation.

Today, new challenges exist for those engaged in CSFs and values-based direct marketing arrangements. These challenges motivate a second face-to-face summit where those engaged in the local seafood movement can learn from each other in ways that will lead to their continued success, broader impacts, and collective movement towards a sustainable future for small-scale fishermen. In particular, many CSFs are coming up against financial and organizational deficiencies that limit their ability to pursue broader goals and objectives. In other words, the bottom line (e.g., financial stability) is critical to the quadruple bottom line that aims to achieve social, economic, ecological well-being and build vibrant regional food systems.

Simultaneously, there is mounting concern that the CSF concept could be (and in some cases is being) exploited as a marketing strategy by organizations that are not committed to support broader community-based objectives. In combination, these factors have the potential to undermine the direct marketing movement at a time when many fishermen need to be able to increase the value of their catch. Recognizing these challenges, the summit will be framed around a set of broad questions related to increasing the fiscal and structural stability of these organizations.

Summit Highlights

  • Welcome Reception & Seafood Dinner
  • Peer-to-peer knowledge exchange and networking
  • Small group workshops on best practices, business planning, and financial modeling
  • Collaborative value mapping exercise focusing on the community-level benefits of direct marketing arrangements
  • Deep conversation about the core principles that motivate our collective work
  • Field trip to the Outer Banks, North Carolina
Photo credit: Zoe Jakovenko

Summit Photos

Photo credit: Zoe Jakovenko & Gary Beatty

Local Hosts



Planning Committee

Erik Chapman, New Hampshire Sea Grant
Niaz Dorry, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
Kelly Harrell, Alaska Marine Conservation Council
Sara Mirabilio, North Carolina Sea Grant
Susan Park, Virginia Sea Grant
Ann Simpson, NC Catch
Sonia Strobel, Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery
Joshua Stoll, University of Maine, Orono
Jack Thigpen, North Carolina Sea Grant
Stephanie Webb, University of California, Santa Cruz

CSF Summit 2012

The National Summit on Community Supported Fisheries brought together CSF organizers, fishermen, and community leaders to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with the emerging model.