California West Coast Groundfish Market Recovery
WEST COAST GROUNDFISH PILOT PROJECT USER GUIDE & LESSONS LEARNED
The West Coast Groundfish fishery in California is a fishery management success. Yet despite significant ecological progress, fishing and conservation communities continue to share concerns about the long-term economic sustainability of the fishery.
With the fishery now recovered from overfishing, the final step to a full recovery is to reintroduce the harvest of sole, cod, rockfish and other stocks to market and help the fishers recover economically. Would chefs buy local, sustainable fish if the price was competitive? Would consumers want this? The answer is YES to both.
Changing Tastes, along with Wilderness Markets, assessed the opportunity to reintroduce the fish to market. Based on our findings, we conduct a 90-day market trial with institutional and retail foodservice operators in California. We worked to see if diners would welcome and accept the lost flavors and varieties that can now return to our plates and also raise commercial buyers’ and suppliers’ awareness of U.S. West Coast Groundfish as a domestic, sustainable source of whitefish.
The results of the trial were extraordinary and it has helped both to establish new markets and demonstrate the value of West Coast Groundfish.
We have several resources available to learn more about the project and the lessons learned.
REGIONAL MARKET DEMAND AND OPPORTUNITIES,
Our assessment explores the market demand for U.S. West Coast Groundfish in Oregon, Washington, and California. We examine how much whitefish West Coast commercial buyers purchase; what potential there is to sell sustainable, U.S. West Coast Groundfish in these regional markets; and how fishermen can increase the price per pound that they receive for their fish. Download it here.
FOODSERVICE OPERATOR USER GUIDE
The user guide, created for Compass Group’s corporate dining operators in Central California, provides guidance for cooking and marketing West Coast Groundfish and guidelines for reintroducing the fish to diners. Download it here .
The pilot provided timely real-world lessons learned about market acceptance of West Coast Groundfish. The pilot succeeded in reintroducing West Coast Groundfish to diners, increasing fish consumption, and substantially increasing the price to fishers. However, supply chain considerations also surfaced. All told, the pilot proved the market is ready to recognize the catch from the fishery. It validated a number of previously identified opportunities and also provided insight to new opportunities. We also confirmed a number of identified risks that exposed new challenges to the successful reintroduction of the product to the supply chain in California. Download it here.
BUSINESS CASE FOR INVESTMENT
Based on the pilot and the contextual analysis, we believe a unique and compelling opportunity exists. Download it here.