Seafood supply chain has grown too long

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
Scup is unloaded from the Elizabeth Helen at Deep Sea Fish in Narragansett, R.I. QR codes are used to trace the fish from the boat to the consumer.

YOU COULD read the Globe’s report on rampant fish mislabeling as just another story about fraud “On the menu, but not on your plate,’’ Page A1, Oct. 23). But then you’d be missing the underlying problem: The seafood supply chain has grown too long.

Those of us who catch, prepare, and eat fish in New England have an extraordinary opportunity to shorten the distance from ocean to plate. For us, that starts with being able to look our fishermen in the eye. But buying from fishing families, not huge corporations, is neither easy nor cheap. There’s the complexity of managing many relationships, and the fact that we can’t cherry-pick, buying only popular species; we have to join our fishing families in rolling with seasons and quotas.

We believe there will be a payoff in sustainability. We’re already seeing an unexpected benefit: Buying a broader range of local fish has pushed us to introduce cooks and eaters to a more adventurous menu. Hake, for example, is a delicious local fish, prized in Europe, and ours, at least, is caught in native waters, not in Africa.


Trust needn’t start with a DNA test. If we’re all in this together, we have everything to gain, even in terms of flavor.

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Mac and Alex Hay


The writers are owners of Mac’s Seafood, Mac’s Shack, and the Wellfleet Harbor Seafood Co.