Direct Marketing Seafood Businesses Sought for Third Cohort of No-Cost Business Accelerator Program
Release Date: 03-18-2024

-Applications now open for SAIL Catalyst business accelerator

ORONO, Maine (March 18, 2024) – Small and mid-size seafood businesses across the United States are invited to apply for the third cohort of SAIL Catalyst (formerly Scale Your Local Catch), a 14-week virtual business accelerator program designed to train seafood producers on marketing their catch directly to consumers, scaling their business, and building greater resiliency within local and regional food systems. Applications are open online through April 17th, for the program beginning in mid June 2024 and concluding in September 2024. 

SAIL Catalyst is produced by Local Catch Network, and is offered at no cost through grant funding. SAIL Catalyst is developed in partnership with Ecotrust with the goal of strengthening local and regional seafood systems by addressing challenges associated with direct marketing.

“We are excited to be offering additional services this year under our Seafood Accelerator & Innovation Lab (SAIL) umbrella. In addition to SAIL Catalyst we are also piloting a mentorship program for four seafood businesses in our network. We have seen first hand the value created when community-based seafood businesses have the support of technical assistance. This year’s Catalyst cohort of fifteen will gain fundamental business skills, but as importantly they will get to learn from each other,” said Laughton Elliott-DeAngelis, Coordinator of the Local Catch Network.

Although the core curriculum of the program includes topics like business structure formation, taxation, accounting, credit/finance, and market development, a large focus of SAIL Catalyst is expanding support and social networks within the cohort. Participants will receive customized business support from service providers and consultants who understand the unique needs of fishers and seafood  harvesters who want to build financial viability, strengthen their business structure, and grow with integrity. 

A past Catalyst cohort member shared that the program enabled them to establish new systems including, “The accounting sessions spurred us to re-organize and set up new categories in our accounting and bookkeeping systems. With the help of the labor and employment session, we reclassified our workers, and the marketing sessions motivated us to transition e-commerce platforms, set up our social media stores, ramp up our analytics tracking, evaluate our branding, and more”.

Applicants should meet all selection criteria linked here. Preference will be given to fishers and harvesters who:

  • Are Black, Indigenous, Latine, or identify as a person of color;
  • Are women or LGBTQIA+
  • Live in/serve low income/low access areas

Interested applicants can register here to attend an information session on March 26th from 4-5PM ET. For full program information and to apply, visit or contact Laughton Elliott-DeAngelis( and Tyson Rasor ( with questions. 

About the Local Catch Network 

The Local Catch Network, based at the University of Maine, is an inclusive, values-based  network of 500+ seafood harvesters, researchers, and community organizations from across  North America. LCN members support and promote safe, direct, transparent and profitable  “boat-to-fork” systems of local and regional seafood distribution, such as Community Supported  Fisheries (CSFs) and similar models. LCN is governed by a volunteer Executive Committee  responsible for supporting the growth and development of the network, with backbone support  from the North American Marine Alliance. FMI:  

About Ecotrust 

Ecotrust creates and accelerates triple-bottom-line innovations to benefit our region and inspire  the world. Our work is rooted in the region from California to Alaska that holds productive lands  and determined people. On the farm, at the coast, in the forest, and across our cities, we work  in partnership towards an equitable, prosperous, climate-smart future. We recognize the legacy  of colonialism and the deep inequities of this place, and we believe that radical, practical change  is possible and necessary. Since 1991, we have created durable change and sparked ideas across  the globe. Join us at 

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