Ocean State Fresh in Newport, RI
Visit our website
25 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840
As part of its initial effort to bring communities and local fishermen together, Ocean State Fresh is implementing a Community Supported Fishery Program. This program is similar to Community Supported Agriculture programs that can be found throughout Rhode Island. In a nutshell, a Community Supported Fishery program enables participating local fishermen to sell their catch to members of the community who purchase shares in the program. By doing this, fishermen are assured of receiving a fair price for their efforts and consumers are assured of a fresh and local fish. Typically, the catch is distributed on weekly basis at a central point. If you want a comprehensive understanding of Community Supported Fishery programs please read the brochure produced by the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance. If you are either a fishermen or a consumer interested in joining Ocean State Fresh’s Community Supported Fishery Program, please fill out and submit the CSF Sign-Up Form located on the Contact page located on our website.
Bold foods are in season now according to our Harvest Calendar. Call to find out exact availability. Every farm and every season are unique. Most farms are also residences. Unless Farmstand or Pick Your Own hours are noted, please be respectful and call ahead before going to the farm.
Farm Fresh RI regularly revises the Local Food Guide with new information.
Let us know if something is inaccurate.
Newport, RI - To many people, Rhode Island is synonymous with seafood. However, native-caught fish often travels to several different states for processing and distribution before it ever makes it into the hands of a retail customer. In an effort to provide fresher seafood to customers, and guarantee fairer prices to fishermen, A. Ross Pearsall founded the nonprofit Ocean State Fresh in 2010 after earning a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, where he studied sustainable fisheries and learned about similar community-based programs elsewhere in the country.
Like with a CSA, Ocean State Fresh’s CSF subscribers pay a fixed amount for a twelve-week share, but since fish is available in all four seasons, there is no fixed start or end date. Those who aren’t able to commit to a CSF share can also purchase week-by-week through Ocean State Fresh’s Dock to Market online store and pick up their orders during the scheduled Friday afternoon CSF pickup at Newport’s Pier 9. Dock to Market offerings vary from week to week based on availability, but typically include cod, bluefish, lobsters, crabs, mussels, clams, and oysters.
CSF deliveries also change from week to week with the season, and include a great deal of variety. Many customers are surprised to discover how much they enjoy fish that they haven’t tried before, such as monkfish and skate. Other familiar favorites such as cod, scallops, and striped bass also make an appearance. Not surprisingly, given the freshness of the fish, it’s all absolutely delicious.
Although the prices for Ocean State Fresh’s seafood aren’t higher than what you’d find at a fish market or grocery store, the shorter supply chain means that most of your money goes directly to the individual who caught the fish, rather than to a wholesaler, distributor, and processor. Ross says that his favorite part of the job is interacting with local fishermen and learning about the ins and outs of the fishing industry. Ultimately, he hopes to see Ocean State Fresh develop into a retail store, as has happened in other states, while maintaining its non-profit status and continuing to work directly with fishermen.
As part of his mission for Ocean State Fresh, Ross also participates on committees of the Rhode Island Seafood Marketing Collaborative and belongs to the Rhode Island Food Policy Council, where he helps work to find solutions to the challenges facing local fishermen. He aims to inform customers about the importance of buying seafood from trustworthy local sources, and making sustainable choices that are good for the local economy as well as the environment. Ultimately, he explains, “We aim to change policy through seafood.”