Sea to Table Brings Dogfish from Boat to Campus
Since 2015, the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance has been collaborating with seafood distribution company Sea to Table, to build domestic markets for Cape Cod-caught spiny dogfish. Sea to Table delivers the highest standard of wild, domestic, sustainable and traceable seafood to discerning chefs and consumers across the country, and our abundant local dogfish is a perfect example of a species that meets all their criteria.
This past fall, Sea to Table, along with Marder Trawling, organized trips for campus dining managers, chefs and students from universities like Ohio State, SUNY, UMass and Yale to come to Chatham to see firsthand how fishermen catch dogfish and unload them at the fish pier. They traveled to New Bedford to watch dogfish being filleted by hand, frozen and packaged at the processing plant. Dogfish dishes were prepared in different ways for tastings held at local Cape restaurants, which inspired chefs to create new menus for their students back home.
UMass Amherst kicked off its dogfish promotion with a special event to get students interested and excited about this local fish. A campus chef even demonstrated how to break down the whole fish (which is not a simple task!). The university has already ordered more than 2,000 pounds of dogfish this school year. After the trip to the Chatham Fish pier, Yale decided to feature dogfish on its Thanksgiving menu and then put it on regular rotation in the dining hall, bringing in nearly 3,000 pounds of dogfish since November.
We are encouraged that our supply chain partnerships are helping to inspire a future generation of consumers for our fleet’s sustainable catch. The universities are also excited about the collaboration.
"Supporting local and regional farmers and fishing communities is extremely important to our team at UMass Dining,” says Christopher Howland, Director of Purchasing, Marketing and Logistics of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst. “In fact, sustainability initiatives like this play a large part in our 2020 strategic plan. We're very excited to be able to feature local and sustainable dogfish on the menu. Our talented chefs have been able to develop creative recipes that our students love."
PBS NewsHour followed Sea to Table and UMass Amherst on their journey from boat to dining hall, and aired a terrific special about dogfish and its potential for domestic markets. It featured Fishermen’s Alliance member Jamie Eldredge on board his F/V Yellowbird.
Aubrey, Allison. PBS NewsHour. “Can the seafood industry get Americans to eat local fish?,” January 6, 2017.
Simon, Scott and Allison Aubrey. NPR’s Weekend Edition. “Would You Eat This Fish? A Shark Called Dogfish Makes A Tasty Taco,” January 7, 2017.
Read more about our larger efforts and collaborations.