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MV Seafood Collaborative Goals and Efforts:

 

  • Helping to preserve the iconic Menemsha waterfront as a working harbor for years to come

 

  • Stabilizing over 100 local fishing businesses

 

  • ​Increasing the availability of locally sourced seafood for Island restaurants and markets

 

  • ​Utilizing surplus fish to create meals to be donated to families in need

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Menemsha harbor building used as the headquarters for the Martha's Vineyard Seafood Collaborative. 

To learn more about the MV Seafood Collaborative, visit vineyardseafood.org
or check out the following news articles!

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The work we have done thus far and our plans for the future would not be possible without the continued contributions of our wonderful donors. Donations will gladly continue to be accepted for repairs on our building, purchasing equipment, obtaining permits to purchase and process fish, hiring employees, and more! All donations are tax deductable. Thank you!

If you wish to donate to the MV Seafood Collaborative, please click below!

You will be taken to a Paypal donation page.

Please select

'MV Sustainable Seafood Collaborative'

from the drop-down menu.

Thank you to our wonderful supporters!

A special thank you to Betsy and Jesse Fink for their catalytic financial and advisory support over the past few months as MVFPT developed this initiative, to John Callagy and Kelley Drye & Warren LLP,

and Geoghan E. Coogan, Esq. for legal assistance

Cori and Kenny DiPietro

Michaelene Durst

Alex and Amy Finklestein

Elise and Greg Green (In memory of Howard B. Hillman Jr.)

Deborah Hancock

Beth Harris

Richard Kauffman and Ellen Jewett

John Keene Excavation

Christina Lurie

James Marrow and Emily Rose

Vivian and Lionel Spiro

Stanley Startzell and Debbi Zetterberg

Alexandra and David Stern

Jack and Lucy Taylor

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The Problem:

In October 2020, the Island’s largest year-round wholesale seafood buyer, the Menemsha Fish House (MFH), permanently closed its doors. This closure could not have come at a worse time for Martha’s Vineyard’s small-boat fishing industry. Without this wholesale market, many of the Island’s fishermen are left without a large outlet for their catch. This will force some to travel to the mainland and others to end their fishing businesses entirely. Without any intervention, this market closure will almost certainly lead to the decline of our community fishing industry, decay of our working waterfront, and permanent loss of the authentic character and vitality of the Island’s harbors.

The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges in 2020 and increased the strain on Island businesses both on and off the water. Our fishermen have been navigating unpredictable market prices, lower demand, and the need to create new ways to sell their catch. In response, the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust launched our Community Seafood Program which helped fishermen and fed families in need by purchasing over 47,000 pounds of seafood from local fishermen, processing it into meals, and donating these meals to the island’s various charitable food organizations. While this program was very successful and we plan to continue it as needed, having a larger wholesale market is essential for the survival of many commercial fishing operations. Our Island fishermen need a way to sell the local seafood they harvest and have it distributed to Island markets, restaurants, and off-Island buyers.

Our Solution:

With the critical need for the Island’s community fishermen to have an outlet to sell their catch, launched the Martha’s Vineyard Seafood Collaborative, which the MVFPT has operated as a local seafood wholesale buyer in MFH’s former harbor location since in the spring of 2021. This new program is capable of purchasing hundreds of thousands of pounds of local seafood year-round and distributing it on and off the Island, a vital service for Vineyard fishermen. Along with the opportunity to take over the former MFH location, we have also brought Peter Lambos, MFH’s former General Manager, aboard as the Martha’s Vineyard Sustainable Seafood Collaborative’s Director of Operations. Pete’s direct, hands-on experience in managing MFH’s seafood purchasing and wholesale operation is an invaluable resource in successfully launching this new MVFPT initiative. Pete is a born and raised Islander and has spent nearly his entire professional career in service to his community.

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Peter Lambos, working at the Menemsha Fish House

Prior to joining the Vineyard’s commercial fishing industry at MFH, Pete served as Executive Director of the MV Boys & Girls Club (2007-2016) and as General Manager of the MV Ice Arena (2016-2018). Pete’s community ties and experience in both non-profit and seafood industry management make him a perfect fit to lead this initiative. The Martha’s Vineyard Seafood Collaborative supports the mission of the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust by 1) providing a competitive wholesale market for local fishermen and aquaculture farmers to sell their entire catch, 2) educating the public and customers to increase the value and demand for locally caught and produced seafood, and 3) preserving the culture and heritage of the historically vital fishing industry on the Island. As a completely local operation run by our non-profit organization, the Martha’s Vineyard Seafood Collaborative is focused on serving the Island’s community fishermen and supplying the Island with local seafood.