Charlie Petrocci is an independent consultant who develops a wide variety of maritime and seafood heritage projects for both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. One of his current projects is the development of community supported fisheries here on the Eastern Shore.
Charlie is working with watermen to look for innovative ways to meet the challenges of multi-county health departments in the region with varying regulations, and the practical details of getting fresh fish safely to the consumer.
Another challenge is that the residents here are scattered across the area with only a few densely populated areas suitable for setting up regular consumer direct markets. But access to two different fisheries provides a nice selection of products worthy of the efforts.
Market research is a key element in this stage of the project. Charlie has developed a survey which he conducts at harbor events. He is also hoping to distribute the survey among local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) organizations to see if they might join their efforts in some way.
There are a number of ways that Charlie is getting waterman in direct contact with consumers, including bringing culinary students from the University of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Shady Grove campuses to see processing plants and meet waterman.
Charlie has had a long association with the Rural Development Center at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Charlie has loved seafood and fishing since he was a child. So it is natural that he enjoys working with waterman. Both he and the RDC have in common the idea that seafood and its heritage is a valuable asset to the people of this region.
Charlie also helps conduct a charter boat operator workshop, and a number of elder hostel programs on Eastern Shore maritime and seafood heritage. If you would like to take part in any of these projects you can contact Charlie with information below.