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Catch Restaurant Expands Reach

By Liz Biro, posted Mar 5, 2014

The owners of north Wilmington’s Catch restaurant are working on a new project to put fresh, North Carolina seafood into the hands of home and professional cooks.

Catch chef/owner Keith Rhodes is organizing Catch Community Supported Fisheries, or CCSF, a cooperative that will work much like community supported agriculture plans, better known as CSAs.

Similar to CSAs that supply local produce to participants who sign up for various plans, the Catch CSF will offer members fresh North Carolina seafood, Rhodes said.

The CCSF website is scheduled to debut in 30 days, and the first seafood deliveries would follow about two weeks after, Rhodes said. Home cooks will get the first crack, but CCSF will open to commercial customers not long after the launch, he said.

Participants would register for a certain portion of shares based on how much seafood they would like to receive periodically, Rhodes explained. Packs of assorted seasonal selections would be fully fabricated and ready to cook. Participants could opt for pick-up or delivery, Rhodes said.

Wild-caught seafood as well as some seafood farmed sustainably in reputable aquaculture operations would be offered, Rhodes said.

Rhodes said CCSF would be a liaison between fishers and customers, much like Wilmington’s Feast Down East program has connected farmers to customers.

“I want everybody to have high-quality seafood,” Rhodes said. “We’re talking about providing the best seafood around, and that’s North Carolina seafood.”

Rhodes said he was motivated by the desire to help North Carolina fishermen preserve their culture and livelihoods and to educate the public about fine seafood harvested in and off North Carolina. Much North Carolina seafood is shipped out of state while diners here consume imported seafood, Rhodes said.

During CCSF planning, Rhodes said he has been meeting with fishers and representatives of N.C. Sea Grant as well as N.C. Catch, an umbrella organization that helps showcase four local-seafood promotion initiatives on the state's coast: Carteret Catch, Brunswick Catch, Outer Banks Catch and Ocracoke Fresh.

Watch for CCSF development details at Catch restaurant’s Facebook page, Rhodes said.

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