By Beth David, Editor
The restaurants closed up, so they did not need as much seafood, so the wholesalers did not need as much seafood, so the boat captains had lobster traps filled with product they could not sell; scallopers floated at the docks, instead of chugging out to sea. The ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic closures.
But Troy Durr had an idea: What if we could sell directly to the public?
Anyone who grew up around here, and is of a certain age, probably remembers a time or two going down to the docks with mom or dad to buy seafood “right off the boat.”
Regulations, strictly enforced over the years, put a stop to that, mostly. It was not easy to get a license to sell both wholesale and retail.
But all that changed with the pandemic chaos.
The state eased up regulations othe boat owners, at least for lobsterers, allowing them to legally sell their catch directly to the public. All they had to do was fill out the proper paperwork, according to Fairhaven Harbormaster Timothy Cox.
SouthCoast Direct Source Seafood was born. Started as a Facebook Group, SCDSS started taking orders just a couple of weeks ago. They have grown astronomically since then. At first, orders were taken via Facebook and Mr. Durr organized it.
Now, the group has a website, and people can order both lobsters and scallops (a new addition). Then get in show up at the appointed time and get in line at Union Wharf in Fairhaven.
On Easter Sunday, 4/12/20, Union Street and all the streets around were jam packed with cars waiting to get their fresh-off-the-boat lobsters. Four boats sold more than 2,000 lobsters in four hours.
Word had spread quickly and widely, with people coming from miles away to take advantage of the $6/pound deal and to help out the captains who otherwise would have no income at all. People who were waiting in line told the Neighb News they were from Taunton, Rehobeth, and Worcester.
“WOW, what a day! Happy Easter to everyone who came out today and bought lobsters. At one point there were well over 100 cars in line,” wrote Mr. Durr on Facebook. “Thank you to everyone who had patience in the process! I think I can speak for the Captains and say they appreciate the support for the local community.”
He also said that people followed directions, making it a smooth process.
All in all, people were upbeat and happy to connect with real fishermen on their boats, knowing the lobsters were as fresh as they could ever get.
To learn more find the group on Facebook or visit https://seafood-direct.com.
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Click here to download the entire 4/16/20 issue: 04-16-20 EasterMeals