Citizen Science Project: May - October 2017

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Eat Like a Fish: Citizen Science Research Project

Citizen Scientists Wanted:

Eating with the Ecosystem is looking for New England seafood lovers to take part in a citizen science research project! We are looking for participants from all New England States to participate in this study. This is a fun opportunity to eat and become more knowledgeable about local seafood while also helping to collect valuable information and meeting fellow seafood lovers. If interested, please read the Project Description below.

Study Time Frame: May-October

Stipend: $50/month ($300 total)

All New England-based seafood eaters welcome to apply!

TO APPLY: Take our eligibility survey at

Project Description:

Eating with the Ecosystem is conducting a citizen science research project, as part of a larger study in partnership with the University of Rhode Island to understand the disparities between the relative production of marketable seafood species from our New England marine ecosystems and the relative landings of these species in our local fisheries, highlighting opportunities for greater utilization of species whose production is high relative to their landings; i.e. what species are our ecosystems producing a lot of, that we could be eating more of. Eating with the Ecosystem will use this information to create a science based template for a better overall ecosystem-marketplace match for New England seafood, helping to balance our ecosystems, support local fisheries, and increase consumer awareness.

We are looking for participants within New England to take part in our citizen science research. Participants will help identify, from an end-user perspective, the feasibility of eating seafood in greater symmetry to the ecosystem by helping to answer questions such as, what species are difficult to find in local markets, are certain species more difficult to cook with than others, do consumers need to be provided with extra information to know how to cook with certain species, what factors influence consumer preference when it comes to seafood, etc. 

The study will have two parts:

Part 1: “Eat Like a Fish”

Participants will be given a list of local New England seafood species and tasked with purchasing, preparing, and eating a different species from that list at least once a week. The study will take place for 26 weeks between May and October, during which participants will be expected to purchase and consume a different local species for at least 20 of the 26 weeks. All species, must be locally landed in New England or New York.

Participants will then be provided with a website where they will fill out surveys and record notes about their seafood purchases. They will also be asked to blog about their experience with each species in a “Fish Diary Blog”, posting photos, videos, and writing about what it was like to search for the fish, buy it, prepare it, and eat it. They will describe, what went well and what didn’t, what they learned, and their overall experience with each fish.

As part of our study, a seafood stipend of $50/month ($300 for the project period of May-October) will be given to participants to offset additional expenses associated with purchasing seafood once a week.

Part 2: “Monthly Market Observer”

Participants will also be asked to do a monthly seafood market survey, at a specific market, once a month from May through October. During the survey, they will record information such as the species available, the price per pound, the country or region of origin, the product form, and if there are any eco-labels or traceability information displayed. They are not required to purchase any seafood as part of the market survey.