How It Works

“THE SAFEST AND FRESHEST LOCAL SEAFOOD—GUARANTEED”

1. Choose Your Delivery Months

From our Membership Shop, choose which month(s) you’d like New York State Certified seafood delivered straight to your door.

2. Choose Your
Share Size

Choose how much seafood you’d like each week:
Basic Share (2 lbs/week)
Family Share (4lbs/week)
Price per serving is $7.40

3. Local Fishermen Catch Your Fish

Our Montauk fishermen go to sea and selectively harvest the most sustainable peak-season seafood, then land it at our dock.

4. We Deliver it to Your Door!

Every week during your membership month(s) you will receive a no-contact delivery of the freshest local seafood to your doorstep.

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Monthly Memberships are Limited!

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FAQs

A Community-Supported Fishery (CSF) is an alternative business model for selling fresh, locally sourced seafood. CSF programs, modeled after increasingly popular community-supported agriculture programs, offer members weekly shares of fresh seafood for a pre-paid membership fee. Community-Supported Fisheries aim to promote a positive relationship between fishermen, consumers, and the ocean by providing high-quality, locally caught seafood to members. CSF programs began as a method to help marine ecosystems recover from the effects of overfishing, while maintaining a thriving fishing community.

Becoming a member of Dock to Dish® means becoming part of the Montauk fishing community by purchasing a share of local seafood in advance. This “CSA for fish” concept was designed to reconnect the local community with Montauk fishermen. Simply activate your membership to receive the safest and freshest seafood available in New York State, delivered directly to you, right from the source.

Dock to Dish® has long been the most advanced safety specialist in the seafood sector, and is the only supplier in the United States that has a full-time registered nurse (RN) on our staff to monitor the health and safety of our dock team and participating fishermen. Our RN also oversees the clinical-grade food safety precautions that are maintained in our operation at all times, to protect our members and staff. We also have a New York State-certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) and Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist (CDN) on our advisory board to oversee all nutritional and wellness aspects of the Dock to Dish® program. On a daily basis, we update our operating procedures and policies to maintain continual compliance with CDC Guidelines for COVID-19 and food facilities. We also receive COVID-19 safety guidance from the New York State Department of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

You may think you know where your fish comes from, but the supermarket and industrialized food complexes have made a lot of money using smoke and mirrors to trick people into thinking their fish is authentic. With a Community-Supported Fishery program, you buy your fish directly from fishermen. And there are plenty of benefits to knowing exactly where your fish comes from. CSF programs allow fishermen to change their target species based on what is available, rather than what is in demand, so that species that are typically overfished get a break. Marine ecosystems have an opportunity to recover, in the meantime. Since there isn’t a middleman, fishermen are paid a higher price, and can use more sustainable practices that benefit the environment. Community-based fishermen are able to remain competitive in an industry where large-scale fishing dominates the economy. And, CSFs increase consumer awareness about and access to local and sustainable seafood and harvesting practices.

It’s simple! Visit Shop Memberships and select your share size and delivery location. Your membership is activated as soon as you check out, and you will instantly receive a confirmation email from us with details about your first delivery.

Each week, the day before the delivery ships, Dock to Dish® emails each of our members a detailed Dock Report. The Dock Report tells the story of your seafood, including what species you’ll get, which fisherman caught it, and the other important information you need to know about your catch. We also include details directly from the fleet about how your seafood was caught, what the conditions were like out on the water, and, when possible, photos and videos. These reports will also include links to recipes, articles about sustainability, and more!

SUMMER 2020
Members will have a true catch-of-the-day experience and may receive fresh fillets of Golden Tilefish, Fluke, speared Mahi Mahi, Black Sea Bass, Triggerfish, Silver Hake, Montauk Sea Bream (scup), Monkfish, Skate (wing), Striped Bass, Blackfish, Sea Scallops (meat), Albacore or Yellowfin Tuna (steaks), or other seasonal species.

AUTUMN 2020
Members may receive deliveries of Albacore or Yellowfin Tuna steaks, or fillets of Golden Tilefish, Fluke, speared Mahi Mahi, Black Sea Bass, Triggerfish, Silver Hake, Montauk Sea Bream (scup), Monkfish, Skate (wing), Striped Bass, Blackfish, or Sea Scallops (meat) or other seasonal species.

WINTER 2020
Members may receive deliveries of Golden Tilefish, Fluke, Butterfish, Sea Scallops, Monkfish, Black Sea Bass, Winter Skate (wings), Silver Hake, Montauk Sea Bream (scup), yellowtail flounder, Blackfish, Dogfish, Longfin Squid, John Dory or Sea Scallops (meat) or other seasonal species.

This is a genuine, supply-based “catch of the day” format, in which the fishermen decide what species of fish is most abundant in the local ecosystem, and harvest those fish for members. Dock to Dish® members may not request certain species, and, during peak seasons (especially rod-and-reel yellowfin tuna season) members may receive fillets or steaks of the same species of fish two weeks in a row.
If you have a seafood allergy, unfortunately, a Dock to Dish® membership is not a good option for you. Dock to Dish® members are willing to accept the freshest fish coming to the dock on a given day, and are not able to pick or choose specific species. We cannot take special requests. But our loyal longtime members will all tell you that the surprise is actually quite fun, and that this format is a true resurrection of a genuine “catch of the day.”

It’s ok if you aren’t comfortable preparing different species of fish! We include recipes in each Dock Report that we send out. Pro Tip: When using fish this fresh, the less you do to it, the better. Most of our members use a little garlic, oil, salt, pepper to cook their fish. A squeeze of fresh citrus at the end makes for a perfect, simple dish that really highlights the freshness of the fish.

We offer two share sizes: the individual and the family share sizes. The individual share comes with two pounds of fillets per week. A typical recommended serving size per person is three ounces for lunch and five ounces for dinner, so one pound yields two dinners and two lunches. Our pricing is per serving, and not per pound. The individual share is great for individuals, couples, roommates, or any combination of two to three people. The family share comes with four pounds of fillets per week. This share is perfect for families of four or more, and should offer multiple meals of delicious, healthy seafood.

  • Price averages out to $7.40 per serving.
  • Fish fillets are priced at $29.25 per/lb, plus shipping and handling.
  • Each 1 lb. fillet yields two dinner servings and two lunch servings.

The Basic Membership is two pounds per week at a cost of $58.50. This is eight servings (four five-ounce dinner servings and four three-ounce lunch servings), perfect for individuals or couples. The average cost is $7.40 per meal.

The Family Membership is four pounds per week at a cost of $117.00 per week. This is 16 servings (eight dinner servings and eight lunch servings), perfect for families of three and up, or the perfect size to split with a neighborhood family. The average cost is $7.40 per meal.

SAFETY FIRST: SHIPPING AND PACKAGING MATERIALS DURING THE PANDEMIC 

Safety and sustainability are two foundational pillars on which Dock to Dish programs are built. We are a true triple-bottom-line operation meaning we prioritize People, Planet and Profit in that order. Your safety is always our number one priority. 

At this time the world is experiencing radical transformations, one of which is an unprecedented surge to ship goods and materials through new distribution systems, many of which are similar to ours. This sudden rush is causing disruptions in supply lines, delays in deliveries, and unprecedented challenges to sourcing of certain shipping materials that are in high demand. 

We realize that our first phase shipping materials during the pandemic may be bulky, oversized, or consist of materials that do not match our long commitment, history and reputation as leaders in sustainable practices. This is temporary and we pledge to continue working as hard as possible to improve all areas of our shipping and packaging efforts, until we arrive at the place where we are again leaders in the race for sustainability. Until then, we ask for your patience and understanding as we move forward. The changes and improvements we make to our packaging materials will be visible and detectable to you as they steadily occur. As always, we are also open to questions and constructive suggestions on ways we can improve. If you have ideas you would like to share please contact us.

Not at home? No problem! We now practice “no contact deliveries” through our partnership with UPS. Your delivery will be left for you, and, because of our ice packs and carefully insulated packaging, your fish will remain cold for hours, even in the summer.

Yes, you pay for your full month’s share upfront. We forward-contract with our fishermen at the beginning of the month, so that they know precisely how much fish to bring back to the dock. This ensures that there is zero waste in our system.

Dock to Dish is a small, artisanal, safety focused operation. We have always been committed to our mission of safety first and to providing our members with fresh, healthy seafood while supporting small-scale commercial fishermen and promoting a healthy marine ecosystem. In order to maintain our rigorous standards as a triple bottom line business, we scale the operation slowly and with intention. This is why we limit memberships and pursue a high-quality, low quantity formula so that as we grow, we never lose sight of our founding principles.

Dock to Dish is a true Community Supported Fishery program where our members pay upfront for a month or a full season of fresh, wild-caught seafood. This allows us to forward contract with fishermen so that they know exactly how much fish to catch each week. This model means that there is no waste along the way and we’re only taking what we need from the ocean. We are not able to cancel memberships or provide refunds after the month begins. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We carefully limit the number of members in our Community Supported Fishery program. As soon as a new spot becomes available, we will personally reach out to you.

Working with a truly wild, fresh-caught product can be unpredictable – one of the things that makes this program so beautifully unique. Our team works hard to plan for the unexpected, but sometimes we have to make adjustments. There is always the possibility that rough weather conditions in Montauk will require the fleet to stay safely on land. If inclement weather, other acts of nature, or other events beyond Dock to Dish’s control occur that prevent us from delivering your seafood on time, we will credit you that week and make it up with an additional delivery at the end of your membership.

Our safety-driven goals are:

  • To support healthy fisheries and the communities that depend on them by introducing a new membership-based, supply-based market model for wild seafood.
  • To design and proliferate the most advanced live tracking technologies in the world.
  • To provide our members with the safest and most reliable access to fresh, premium, locally harvested, fully traceable seafood directly from the dock.
  • To directly engage our fishermen and community members in the most transparent seafood supply system with a minimized and illuminated chain of custody.
  • To ensure maximum seafood quality and freshness while maintaining the highest levels of safe handling practices.
  • To support and collaborate with local organizations that are dedicated to actively protecting our oceans and environment.
  • To fundamentally change seafood marketplaces by demonstrating to producers, through consumer demand, the economic and ecological value of traceable, sustainable seafood.
  • To accept responsibility for the stewardship of our marine ecosystem, and to ensure that succeeding generations will have an equal or better opportunity to benefit from its resources.

The value statements outlined below aim to create a higher level of accountability and trust, both internally within the network and externally to the public, in order to advance the movement of Community Supported Fisheries (CSF) and like-minded community-based seafood operations. These value statements are intended to be addressed holistically and are not ranked according to importance. The values reflect our collective aspirations and what we are working toward, not necessarily what is the current status quo. We define ‘values’ as standards of behavior or one’s judgement over what is important in life.

Community-Based Fisheries

Community-based fisheries enhance the social, ecological, and cultural fabric of our coastal communities. At the heart of community-based fisheries are community-based fishermen* who live and work in the communities where they fish. They are typically independent, owner-operators*, and are inherently committed to the long-term health of the marine ecosystem. Seafood supply chains and policies should foster and strengthen community-based fisheries.

Fair Access

Community-based fisheries cannot survive without equitable access* to the ocean commons. Fisheries access should be kept affordable, available to future generations, and connected to the communities where they are fished. The ocean and its resources should be held in public trust and not privatized*.

Fair Price

Paying a fair price to fishermen, processors, and shore-side businesses helps support local economies and increases the quality of life for all those whose hands touch our fish. Community-based seafood should be available and affordable for all communities, and must be balanced against the needs and limits of the ocean as well as fishermen’s ability to sustain a livelihood with dignity and joy. Paying a fair price is also based on a conservation ethic where fishermen are able to attain higher value for lower volume of catch, which places less pressure on the fish stocks.

Eating with the Ecosystem

Eating with the ecosystem means matching our seafood consumption to the rhythms of nature and place. It means celebrating and respecting a region’s marine biodiversity by harvesting a diversity of seafood and respecting the unique seasonality of every species and fishery. It means appreciating the ocean as a complex ecological system and engaging and educating consumers to enable them to become conscious consumers of the ocean’s food production capacity.

Traceable and Simple Supply Chains

Traceable and simple supply chains promote trust and a more direct relationship between fishermen, the public, consumers, retailers, wholesalers, managers and chefs. More direct and simple supply chains help maximize value to the fishermen and consumer. Information on who, how, where, and when a fish was caught, processed and distributed should be readily available to consumers. We encourage all seafood consumers to try local* first.

Catch and Handle with Honor

Strict levels of quality control and safe handling practices, along the entire supply chain, to ensure that we honor the fish, its life, and its role in our food system. This also means minimizing waste by using the whole animal as much as possible, and educating consumers about how to make use of and care for the whole fish.

Community and Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management

Fisheries management is key for maintaining sustainable fish stocks and livelihoods. Management should be bottom-up, ecosystem-based, and foster collaboration between fishermen, scientists, policy makers, and the broader public. Management should combat illegal fishing, consolidation, and privatization. Management should also address non-fishing impacts that threaten the health of our fisheries, such as climate change, ocean acidification, and pollution.

Honoring the Ocean

Seafood connects and incentivizes the broader public to care for marine ecosystems. By eating seafood and knowing who, what, when, and how a fish was caught, the public is taking the health of wild fisheries, coastal communities and the ocean into its own hands. Not only is the commitment to healthier marine ecosystems crucial, but it is also a moral imperative that ensures future generations will inherit a clean and healthy ocean.

Creativity and Collaboration

Building a better seafood system requires innovation, creativity, and thinking outside the box. It also requires that innovative ideas are not isolated but rather spread through a network of diverse stakeholders working together, aligning around shared values, and acting. Creativity and networking fosters knowledge sharing, collective understanding, and mentorship needed to build a better future.

APPENDIX / GLOSSARY

Fishermen: This is an inclusive and gender-neutral term for us, and the one used most commonly among women who fish in our network. It’s meant to refer to those who might also use the terms fish harvesters, fisherwomen, fishermisses, fishers, and intertidal gatherers, as well as those practicing restorative aquaculture on a sustainable scale.

Community-based fishermen: Community-based fishermen live and work in the communities where they fish. They are typically independent, owner-operators and the bulk of the boat’s earned income circulates within close range of the community. This contrasts with fishing operations that extract money and resources from coastal communities and circulate them elsewhere, often carried out by large corporations or investors without community ties. Community-based fishermen operate small and medium scale boats that match the scale of the ecosystems where they fish. They are ecological experts attuned to the nuances of ocean rhythms, fish migration patterns, and spawning habitat. Community-based fishermen are part of the social fabric that builds identity and culture within a community. The term community-based also reminds us that what is possible in one region may not necessarily be possible in another due to differences in marine ecosystems, infrastructure, community interest, and more.

Owner-operator: Owner-operators are holders of fishing rights (through licenses or other legal means) who also operate the vessel fishing, thus ensuring a direct connection between fisheries resources and the fisherman. The owner-operator principle has had a major positive effect in keeping fisheries access in the hands of community-based fishing fleets, which for many rural coastal communities is the largest private sector employer.

Non owner-operators include holders of fishing rights who permanently hire captains and crew. Other examples consist of: speculative investors, industry processors looking to secure access, and retired fishermen who finance their entire retirement plan with no regard for a fair transition to next generation fishermen.

The owner-operator principles also applies to businesses along the seafood supply chain whether its processing, operating a CSF, or a wholesale operation. We value control over these businesses remaining in the hands of those who are working the business, rather than far-away investors or companies that have no stake in the health or welfare of the community-based fishery.

Access: Access refers to two distinct concepts. The first is related to access to fishing rights for community-based fishermen. Due to regulations (e.g. area closures and privatization), non-fishing impacts (e.g. climate change and pollution), and development (e.g. working waterfront displacement and development) access for community-based fishermen is constantly threatened. Access also refers to food access. The LocalCatch network stands for seafood suppliers who want to ensure that their high-quality seafood is made available whenever possible to regions and communities that face challenges associated with food security.

Privatization: The act of transforming fishing access rights into monetary, private-property assets, which allows for the purchase of permits and quotas to consolidate upward to the most affluent, and often far-removed corporations. The ocean and its resources should be held in a public trust for current and future generations and not privatized. Nor should policies be designed to further consolidate fisheries access into fewer hands. Fair access to the ocean commons is supported by purchasing seafood from community based fishermen and by advocating for better policy that protect and promote, independent, owner-operators.

Local Seafood: Defining “local seafood” is difficult and complex because “local” means different things depending on location, marine ecosystem, and more. For example, ‘local seafood’ to someone living in Alaska is very different from someone living in Omaha. Therefore rather than propose an all encompassing definition of “local seafood,” we provide some considerations we make when defining local in the context of our individual fisheries and communities.

  • Customer proximity to where the fish is landed
  • Customer proximity to where the fish was caught
  • Customer proximity to the fisherman
  • Distance traveled by product in the supply chain
  • Management boundary of the fishery
  • Relationship between the fisherman and consumers

About LocalCatch.org: A community-of-practice that is made up of fisherman, organizers, researchers, and consumers from across North America that are committed to providing local, healthful, low-impact, and economy sustainable seafood via community supported fisheries (CSFs) and other direct marketing arrangements.

We seek to increase the visibility and viability of community-based fishermen and aim to provide assistance to individuals and organizations that need support envisioning, designing, and implementing locally-relevant businesses that work towards a triple bottom line.

If you don’t see your question here, please contact us.

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