We bring fresh, local seafood to Philadelphia’s diverse communities, because everyone deserves nice things.
We want to live in a world where everyone — our members, our harvesters, our staff, and our students — has:
- Nice things, like: a fulfilling job that pays well, delicious, high-quality, culturally appropriate food, an affordable, safe place to live that we like, and safe, supportive, and good schools
- Agency over our own lives, including: choice, control, and respect in our bodies, families, housing, and work
We recognize that race plays a critical role in mediating access and agency. While relationships between white communities and communities of color are part of this system, we believe that strong relationships between and among communities of color are also crucial to everyone’s liberation, and prioritize building and supporting such relationships.
- We put people first: we take care of ourselves and each other. We value our community relationships.
- We do a good job so our actions will make a positive difference.
- We are assets-oriented: we honor experience and expertise in our staff and communities, generally, and especially about seafood. We also value skills that are not always recognized in traditional assessments.
We are working toward a sustainable future, which we consider to have the following components:
- Community sustainability: We value work-life balance: we work hard, but not at the expense of our humanity.
- Environmental sustainability: We aim to support seafood harvesting that will allow us to continue to harvest into the future. Toward this goal, we buy and sell species that are “federally managed,” i.e., studied and managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
- Economic sustainability: We aim to compensate everyone involved in this work equitably: our seafood harvesters, staff, and students.
- We do a lot of learning in this work. We offer and welcome constructive feedback, toward the goal of getting better.
- Learning means we also make mistakes: we acknowledge our mistakes, take responsibility for them, and are kind to others when they make them.
- We work to be as transparent as we can because we think that transparency is good for us and our relationships with each other.
- We are committed to transparency in our supply chain: we only sell products for which we know the full distribution chain, and do our best to share that information.
- Internally, this doesn’t mean that everyone is involved in every decision, but rather that reasons and processes behind decisions are not intended to be hidden or secret.
"Americans only know how to eat cod and salmon fillets. We need to teach them how to eat other kinds of fish!"
She thought to herself,
"Maybe we’re not thinking about all Americans..."
Talia, who is Chinese-American, thought back to all the seafood her family had eaten as a child. Crabs, lobster, jellyfish, scallops, shrimp, clams, jellyfish, abalone, whole fish, and more. And she thought about her other friends of color who also ate a lot of seafood. And she began to wonder what would happen if we connected local seafood harvesters with culturally diverse eating communities. Could it be win-win for everyone? Expanding markets for seafood harvesters while also increasing access to high quality food for consumers? And so the idea for Fishadelphia was born.
Talia used to be a high school teacher, and knew she wanted to engage young people in this project. So she and Tasha Palacio (our Assistant Director of Seafood Management and Youth Programming) worked with a group of high school students to launch the project, with expert help from George Mathis (our Seafood Wrangler). We sold our first fish in 2018, with 25 members and one pickup location. Since then we’ve expanded to more than 250 members and 15 pickup locations.
2016: the idea of Fishadelphia begins
Talia (our founder and executive director) dreams up the idea of a seafood program that connects local seafood harvesters with culturally and economically diverse seafood eaters. (Photo credit: E Robertson, Philadelphia Inquirer)
2017: work with students to design a pilot program
We work with students at Mastery Charter Thomas to conduct focus groups, build a web site, and design a pilot program. (Photo credit: T Palacio)
January 2018: pilot program launches
We launch our pilot program and sell our first fish, with 25 customers and one pickup location in South Philly! (Photo credit: K Paynter, WHYY)
May 2018: First dock trip
We run our first dock trip to the Point Pleasant Fishermen’s Co-op. (Photo credit: M Lee)
Jan 2019: we expand to a second location
We open a second location at Simon Gratz Mastery Charter High School in North Philly. (Photo credit: T Palacio)
June 2020: expanding to even more locations
We expand to 15 self-service pickup locations around the city.