It is common to hear and read the phrases “farm to table” or “farm to plate” in food systems discussions and scholarship. Less common, is to encounter “ocean to table” or “ocean to plate.” As scholars, we are aware of the issues that farmers and farmworkers face, but it seems that we often fail to acknowledge coastal and marine food systems’ issues. Why? It could be that those systems seem distant to most of us. Even in Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island and U.S. territory, most scholarship focused on food systems ignores the issues that coastal communities face, especially fisherfolks. Today, given the implications of climate change on coastal areas as well as marine deterioration, researchers and stakeholders are starting to give more attention to coastal communities and marine ecosystems. If researchers and stakeholders want to get involved with fisherfolks to develop solutions for the problems that they face, it is imperative to understand the dynamics among those communities. David Griffith and Manuel Valdés Pizzini’s Fishers at Work, Workers at Sea (2002) is an invaluable starting point for the study of marine or coastal food systems. Click here to read more.
Photo by Luis Alexis Rodríguez Cruz, 2017