Finding Meaning in Fish

Finding Meaning in Fish

A Message from True Fin CEO, Jen Levin 

A few weeks ago, I lost someone dear to me. This experience has made me laser-focused on the meaning of life - understanding what’s truly important and not letting time slip by without purpose. I realized that this reflection left me even more passionate about True Fin and grateful for the meaning I find in my work. Whether you’ve been with us from the beginning or are a new customer, I’d like to reintroduce you to True Fin and what makes us so special.

Over the last two decades, the number of fishermen in New England has declined dramatically as local fish have struggled to compete with imports. I’ve personally known many fishermen who left the industry because prices they were paid for their catch were too low to make a living on the water. For example, one Maine port went from 11 active boats to just one in the last 17 years. As a result of fishermen exiting the industry, our region harvested less than 20% of local sustainable fish quotas last year. Meanwhile, the U.S. imported over 90% of its seafood consumed nationally. Quite literally and dramatically, consumers have less and less access to domestically harvested seafood. This has concerning consequences for livelihoods, coastal communities, food security, sustainability, health, and more.

True Fin is on a mission to create a more economically viable local seafood industry, keep fishermen fishing, and make local seafood accessible to consumers. We buy exclusively from Gulf of Maine harvesters, and we pay them higher prices for their catch in exchange for quality care aboard the boats. Since 2019, we’ve built a following among chefs and home cooks across the country who care about quality, community, and sustainability. And I’m particularly stoked that we’re creating a new, revered reputation for under-valued fish, like pollock, dogfish, and mackerel.

I am proud to be a part of True Fin, providing sustainable, healthy protein in support of our local coastal communities. And although my mother will sadly never read this, I know she was proud of me too.