4-7pm Harbor Community Room.
In attendance: Michael Harrington, Chris Voss, Steve Escobar, Ben Hyman, Paul Teall, Bernard Friedman, Gary Burke, Brian Colgate, Laszlo Nemeth, Harry Liquornik, Jeff Maassen. Guests: Michael Nelson, Nicholas Piper, Victoria Voss
1. Bylaws Amendment
2. Introduce new volunteers
3. Update on Ventura Shellfish Enterprise
4. Update on SB1017
5. Update on Crab Disaster funding
6. PCFFA contract
7. Harbor Festival prep
8. Update on the Community Supported Fishery launch
Chris Voss opened the meeting at 4pm.
1. Motion made by Voss, seconded by Harrington, to approve board meeting minutes from last meeting. Unanimous approval.
2. Bylaws amendment. Kim drafted edits to the CFSB bylaws to address new use of board member alternates. Draft content changes include: Article IV, Section 4: “The voting members may also chose to elect alternates for each of the board members.” And Article V section 9: “ Alternates, if elcted, will be assigned to represent a specific board member. Alternates will only participate in board votes when their assigned board member is not present or fails to respond to requests for a vote by mail. Proxy votes can be collect from elected board members only, not from alternates. Boardmembers are encouraged to submit their proxy vote through their alternate, but may choose to submit through another board member instead.” Motion to approve draft content made by Voss, seconded by Harrington. Unanimous approval.
3. Introduction of new volunteers: Michael Nelson has volunteered to assist Kim in carrying out CFSB activities, principally for now around infrastructure needs, long-range planning, and fostering relationships with the local government. His background makes him highly qualified to do so. He will be available 3 days a week after he transitions to retirement, sometime by the end of 2018. CFSB has never turned down volunteer help. When asked, Michael confirmed his intention to represent CFSB’s positions on issues without interference of his own positions, if and when they differ. Gary Burke made a motion to task Michael Nelson to look for ways he can benefit CFSB. Bernard seconded. Unanimous approval. Nicholas Piper is a Master’s student at U. Utrecht in the Netherlands who was an undergrad at UCSB and is spending the year in Santa Barbara. He has volunteered with Kim before and is now willing to assist in collecting new data and information about the status of fisheries to help in updating the 2014 Economic Impact Report.
4. Ventura Shellfish Enterprise. Chris and Kim held recent meetings with Doug Bush and with Oscar Pena and Brian Pendleton, Managers of the Ventura Port District. In both meetings we clarified that there were 2 main issues that CFSB is concerned with. First, that assurances must be baked in to the VSE’s sub-leasing policy that will avoid a single corporate entity from taking over all 20 subleases. We feel that the intention to support multiple small operators must be carried through to justify this project. Second, the siting must do more to avoid interference with net fishing. We are not comfortable with the current alternatives 1 and 2 in the CASS application for a Federal lease. The siting alternatives submitted by fishermen have not been acknowledged. A motion was made to submit a letter to the VSE pulling our support for the project until they are able to demonstrate that they have explicitly designated opportunity for small-scale entities and a diversity of entities in their leasing policies, and respond to the siting proposals. Motion made by Gary Burke, seconded by Chris Voss. Unanimous approval.
5. Update on SB1017 by Gary Burke. This bill to shut down the drift gillnet fleet is still waiting to be signed by the Governor. A Federal bill authored by Feinstein, supported by Kamala Harris has huge sportfishing backing. CFSB has contributed funds toward the legal battle.
6. Update on Crab disaster funding.
- Paul Teall reported on calls he had with Sonke Mastrupe and Craig Shuman. Both asserted that the disaster money is a federal grant not intended to provide sufficient direct payments to fishermen to cover losses and will carve out funding for research.
- (Note: Looking at the Sept. 7 CDFW letter announcing their proposed spending plan, they do recognize that the funding must be split between direct payments and ‘mitigation.’ They name direct payments as their highest priority. The plan suggests 3% ($688,787) designated for rock crab. Of this 3%, one third will go to rock crab processors. The payments will be based on historic landings with a weighting by tiers of total pounds landed in affected fishing blocks. Fishermen must have a cumulative total of 1000lbs between 2012 and 2014, and hold a permit for the 2015/2016 season, to be eligible. See details of calculations used to determine payouts in Appendix B. Also look at p.9 of this presentation from their Aug. 29 webinar.)
- Sonke recommended that fishermen double-check that the Department’s estimate of their landings are correct.
- Suggestion was made to make sure rock crab gets representation on the Coastal Dungeness Crab Tri-State Committee run by Pacific States. (Note: I looked at their webpage today and read the meeting notes of their last meeting from July 24/25. One interesting item at the top of p.3 was: “WA and CA will consider enhanced crab traceability measures similar to OR’s new crab records requirements in order to have additional options and flexibility, such as harvesting under an evisceration, in future biotoxin events affecting the region.” Definitely something to follow and assess pros/cons of supporting or opposing.)
7. Harbor festival planning. Chris and Harry will get organized on the booth and sorting out the line up of vendors on the pier. Kim and Mike McCorkle will cover the education table.
8. Update on the Community Supported Fishery launch. At the last board meeting, the board approved supporting the development of a CSF that would benefit CFSB, and would be operated by Kim and Victoria Voss. Kim and Victoria have moved forward with forming the CSF as an LLC, named Get Hooked, with only Kim and Victoria as co-owners (65%/35% ownership split, respectively). It was previously discussed that Get Hooked should be structured to minimize the risk and burden to CFSB that running a business would entail, while still creating strong benefits.
Although a for-profit entity, the business commits to donating a portion of profits to CFSB. Kim and Victoria stated the intention of Get Hooked to operate in good faith and for the best interest of CFSB. Another CFSB meeting will be scheduled to further nail down the ways in which CFSB and the fishing community can maximize benefits from Get Hooked, while minimizing potential disruption or unintended consequences.
It was discussed that Get Hooked will contribute to advertising the Saturday Fishermen’s Market and does not intend to use the market as a platform to promote an alternative source for local seafood. Farmers Markets typically bar advertising CSAs at the market site, and this seems like good policy to follow. Get Hooked plans to reach a new audience that is currently not going to the harbor for seafood, and develop education and incentives to encourage them to do so.
A commercial kitchen space on Aero Camino in Goleta will be used for Get Hooked processing. We also discussed nascent plans to facilitate direct marketing by CFSB fishermen by assisting with their access to and permitting for using this commercial kitchen space, and reaching customers. We would like to explore the potential for developing an independent seafood processing facility open to CFSB fishermen.
A grant from the USDA’s Local Food Promotion Program that Kim wrote and submitted in partnership with Real Good Fish (a CSF in the Bay Area), was summarized. (Update: We were just notified that it will be funded). It was submitted through Real Good Fish and not CFSB because Real Good Fish has received two other USDA grants in the past and we were told that this would increase our chances of getting a third (because they are a known entity with the a good track record). The new grant will provide 3 years of partial salary support for Kim and Victoria to run Get Hooked as well as some funds to cover capital expenses. It also funds the development of a CSF ‘replication model’ and starter toolkit that will be built from the experiences of both Real Good Fish and Get Hooked, and made available to other ports. Alan Lovewell of Real Good Fish is the lead on developing and delivering the replication model, whereas Kim and Victoria will focus on launching Get Hooked CSF.
Service area for Get Hooked is expected to extend along the 101 corridor from Santa Ynez through W. Los Angeles. The current timeline has Get Hooked’s expected launch date in January. We hope to launch with at least 100 customers and build to 250-350 by the end of the year.
Concern was raised about whether Real Good Fish offers higher dock prices. Ben Hyman confirmed that for salmon they are ‘a bit’ higher. Kim and Victoria stated the primary goal of Get Hooked is to educate the public and create new demand for local seafood in order to benefit fishermen long-term, and indirectly, other local seafood outlets. Rather than paying a significantly higher price at the dock, Get Hooked intends to pay a higher price for any inconvenience to fishermen for segmenting their load in the instances when Get Hooked is unable to purchase a whole boat. The potential for Get Hooked and the SB Fish Market to collaborate on providing seafood to schools was also noted.
Concerns were raised around the perception of running a for-profit business using grant-funded start-up money. The USDA Local Food Promotion Program is set up to support for-profit businesses that show strong potential to aid communities of producers and preserve their longevity and value despite global trade forces making it hard for them to survive. There are components of the USDA grant to fund new educational resources on fisheries and local seafood, and to develop seafood delivery for the Santa Barbara School District. These components of the business are unlikely to be profitable, but can happen with the funding.
An MOU will outline the partnership between Get Hooked and Real Good Fish. Alan Lovewell will not have partial ownership of Get Hooked. The two businesses will share resources, get training for the launch of Get Hooked and have continued peer business support. For instance, we may coordinate the supply from one region to the other when weather is bad in one region and nothing is coming in, and we may pool our seafood purchasing to allow us to purchase entire boatloads of products.
Kim and Victoria are happy to answer any questions at any time about Get Hooked. Kim: 805-259-7476, Victoria: 805-456-9681. Victoria@gethookedseafood.com
Chris Voss closed the meeting at 7pm.