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    Monday, May 29, 2023

    From boats to tables: Stonington Fresh

    Connecticut residents will soon spot the “Stonington Fresh” logo on social media, trucks and restaurant menus.

    The Stonington Town Dock recently announced that it will be introducing its fleet-owned “Boat to Table” marketing campaign, in collaboration with the Economic Development Commission and Empire Fisheries.

    The campaign has been created with hopes that the local business trend can help reignite public excitement and appreciation for locally sourced seafood.

    Hardworking fishermen have experienced challenges the last few years: pandemic-induced shortages, strict government regulations and quotas, and the effects of climate change.

    To remedy these and a lack of interest in the profession, Stonington Fresh plans on hosting events and demonstrations at the docks: It’s a valuable endeavor to educate consumers and prospective fishers to consider the occupation.

    The movement is much needed. Certified fresh seafood is difficult to come by nowadays, even in coastal Connecticut and New England towns. But the Stonington fleet’s ambition to catch and sell quality fish can only be achieved with a supportive community.

    Luckily, the excitement around the “Farm to Table” initiative has grown throughout the nation. Diners want to know where their food comes from and are willing to pay what it costs to support local businesses.

    Connecticut farms have seen similar success: Hyde’s Dairy in North Franklin has launched their own delivery service, giving life to the lost American tradition of the milkman.

    Other establishments — White Gate Farms (East Lyme), Brush Hill Dairy (Bozrah), Campbell’s Farm Stand (Jewett City), and others — provide an array of organic meat and produce.

    Scott’s Yankee Farmer, a long-time popular spot in East Lyme, also boasts the “Field to Table” promise, and it has paid off. The farm hosts fruit picking, corn mazes and pumpkin patches, and has offered a variety of delicious crops for over a century. It also attracts school groups and families looking to enjoy and learn about agriculture.

    Teaching about farming has garnered exponential interest in small food businesses — education works, and Stonington Fresh is on the right track.

    It goes to show how local businesses and supporters can overcome the obstacles the pandemic has presented for suppliers and customers who struggle to find consistently fresh choices. Seafood lovers will be ecstatic to finally have easy access to it — and having safe, cared-for food is better for the health of the public.

    The seafood industry has characterized the Connecticut coasts for a long, long time. Now that the government has (rightly) outlined environmental regulations to avoid monopolies and loss of species, local fisheries need the support more than ever, especially since several fisheries have left the area in search of greater yield.

    Stonington Fresh is critical to keeping our ancient seafood culture alive.

    The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Timothy Dwyer, Executive Editor Izaskun E. Larrañeta, staff writer Erica Moser, retired executive editor Tim Cotter and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

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