Get hooked up! ‘Community supported fishery’ connects fishermen to foodies

Get hooked up! ‘Community supported fishery’ connects fishermen to foodies
Big catch: Mark Usewicz of Mermaid’s Garden is linking fishermen to foodies in Park Slope.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Farm to table? Try ocean to table.

A husband-and-wife team has hatched the borough’s first ever “community supported fishery” — forming a direct link between East Coast seafarers and fish-eating foodies in Brownstone Brooklyn.

Mermaid’s Garden Sustainable Seafood offers members fresh-from-the-sea deliveries from Montauk and Cape Cod in an attempt to “reconnect coastal communities to their food system.”

“There’s so much great food here but not much great fish,” said co-founder Bianca Piccillo. “So we spent a lot of time cultivating relationships with fishermen.”

In a setup that closely resembles the borough’s community-supported agriculture groups, participants can buy “shares” of fish and shellfish available for pickup at three locations: Palo Santo restaurant in Park Slope, the Red Hook community-supported agriculture group, and Green Hill Food Co-op in Clinton Hill.

Piccillo said her background in marine biology and her husband’s training as a chef affords them the skills to create an environmentally friendly and reasonably priced service.

Foodies can now sign-up for deliveries — which can include bass, tuna, and skate, or whatever the participating fisherman haul in — starting at $99 for six, 1.25-pound pickups.

Piccillo says the goods are cheaper and fresher than similar offerings at the grocery store.

“Fishermen let us know what they catch that morning,” Piccillo said. “And it gets to Brooklyn within a day.”

Sign up at info@mermaidsgardennyc.com.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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