A limited impact
Mark Marhefka, owner of Abundant Seafood and founder of the first community supported fishery (CSF) program in Charleston, is among the Lowcountry's most respected fishermen. (CSFs operate in much of the same way as community supported agriculture programs.) He's been fishing the Atlantic waters since 1977, and he's served on advisory panels for the SAFMC since the '90s, including as chairman of the snapper-grouper panel. Meanwhile his wife, Kerry, is a former SAFMC fishery biologist.
Kerry says that she and Mark feel "out-gunned" by the presence of advertising firm Rawle Murdy. So in January, the pair sent a letter to their CSF and restaurant customers, urging them to be wary of the catch-share hype.
"There is no biological advantage to this system over one of open access — the total quota remains the same," Kerry says. "This is simply an economic tool used to allocate who catches how much of the pie."