How often would you use an app like this?

The Concepts

I want this app to be a useful, fun, and informative tool for consumers to find the freshest seafood in their area. This app will show people where to buy locally caught seafood off the boat, in the grocery store, at the fish market, or dining out at a nearby restaurant.

There will be an area to see profiles on all of the locally caught species including:

     - where & how it is caught
     - characteristics
     - nutrition facts
     - cooking techniques
     - recipes

Wondering when certain types of seafood are available? The "What's In Season" function will sort fish by species as well as month to find what is currently being brought to the fish piers. This data has been collected through NH Sea Grant/NH Seafood but will be updated according to actual reports by NH fishermen throughout the season.

Directories of marketplaces will give instant access to map location, website, and phone for all places selling local seafood as retail.

A stream of current dishes at restaurants featuring locally caught seafood will be updated by submissions from local area restaurants.

Tips on what to look for in seafood will help consumers when out buying seafood. Clear eyes, resilient flesh, clean smell...etc.

A map will show the user's location surrounded by color coded markings of retail and restaurant locations to find local seafood. This will be another outlet for direct web & phone access.

Now where the fun comes in...FISH SPOTTING: an area for people to share their favorite fish pics! Whether it is sitting down at a local restaurant, picking up the day's fresh catch at the market, or at home cooking up a fantastic meal - share it for others to see! The newest additions will be featured in a scrolling manner on the app homepage with access to a full screen set up. This will let users take photos directly in the app and personalize its description. Just a fun way to keep people interested in the app and to help build a vibrant community of seafood lovers!

Another aspect I would ideally love to cover is bringing a face to the seafood - introducing the captains of the boats! It would be really beneficial for consumers to see who is going out everyday to bring them this wonderful seafood. A quick bio and/or quote along with a pic - maybe even a favorite fish or dish!

These are all my ideal components - some may not be feasible at the start but I will be trying to incorporate as many as possible :)

The Idea

At the winter farmer's market in Rollinsford.

Ever since joining a community supported fishery (CSF) this past summer I have wanted to get more involved in local seafood. 

It began by testing recipes for fun and then leading into writing fact cards for New Hampshire Community Seafood, the CSF I belonged to. My thoughts were to start helping the NHCS during the year to learn more about the local fishing fleet and seafood species prevalent in the area and create a comprehensive guide to seafood here in New Hampshire. As the semester went on I began questioning the marketability of printed information booklets to public audiences and how to best reach a wide audience. "There's an app for that" - Apple's marketing phrase a while back - popped into my head... I looked into mobile app marketplaces and realized that there currently is not an app for this! With a majority of the population being active smart phone users, I took my focus away from printed materials and set it on app development. I figured that this way I can create an easy to use mobile app, but also take components of it and turn it into printed educational material.

Back: first dish I made with my CSF share!
Front of the species profile card

About Me

Happy to be holding this beautiful fillet of pollock!

Hello, hello! My name is Amanda Parks and am pleased to introduce you to a project very near and dear to my heart.

I have been immersing myself in the local fisheries of New Hampshire for the past year learning the ins and outs of this 400 year old industry - and am still only just skimming the surface! I am a full time undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire studying Nutrition and EcoGastronomy working on my senior capstone project. I bet you guessed what the project may be focused on! The next blog will focus more on the project but for now I wanted to share a bit about my background. 

I grew up in the beautiful Lakes Region of New Hampshire but over the past several years have considered the Seacoast area just as dear to my heart. Ever since I can remember, food has been a love of mine. Growing up watching Emeril Lagasse to entering country fair baking contests - food has played a huge role in my life. When touring universities across New England, UNH was not even under my radar until learning about the EcoGastronomy program. Its combined curriculum of hospitality management, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture tied in all of my passions; I realized that I could learn and understand food in many different lights. Soon after starting college I discovered a student organization that seemed to encompass those same topics: Slow Food. From the very first event onward, I became heavily involved with this campus chapter. The Slow Food UNH group here seeks to "preserve and revitalize food culture on campus and in the community through education, celebration, and outreach" and has grown tremendously over the past 5 years. 

Learning to fillet over at Seaport Fish in Rye!

Over the past several years I have had the privilege of being part of many fun, educational, and inspirational food system related are a few:

Cooking Matters:

Cooking with Teens/Cooking with Families - instructor for 2, 8-week sessions working through the NH Food Bank to teach low income families how to cook nutritious meals on a budget

Slow Food:

Fillet Workshop – in the new Paul kitchen at UNH; many varieties of local species that Evan Mallet demonstrated how to fillet; developed recipes for each and set up stations guiding students through each 
Disco Soup - gleaning produce to turn into soup for pantries/shelters; worked with other campus Slow Food chapters; ~1000lbs of food into over 100 gallons of soups along with leftover produce donated
Thanksgivvukah 2013 - paired up with UNH Hillel to bring attendees a locally sourced meal tying two important holidays together

Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance:

Fish Locally Collaborative Dinner - coordinating - with the role of head chef - a seafood dinner for a group of 80 fishermen, families, activists, and community members in New Bedford, MA. Prepared seafood from regional and national fishermen with an emphasis on under-utilized species.

Slow Food UNH takes a tour of the facilities at Seaport Fish in Rye