| by Jason Warburg

Alan Lovewell holding fish

Alan Lovewell MAIEP ’10 accepted a $100,000 check from Chase Bank on September 25 after his company, Real Good Fish, was one of 20 winners—out of 30,000 plus applicants—in the 2015 Chase Mission Main Street Grant com­petition. The grant will support a unique initiative aimed at providing healthy, pop­ular lunches made from local seafood for public school students.

As a student in the Institute’s Inter­National Environmental Policy program, Alan was saddened to learn that most lo­cals consumed fish imported from China and that local fishermen were having a hard time earning a living. After gradu­ating, he cofounded Real Good Fish, a member-supported fishery connecting local consumers directly with fresh, sus­tainable catch.

From its humble beginnings with 146 members in 2012, Real Good Fish has grown to over 1,000 members. Early in the process, Alan and his team discov­ered that fishermen were not finding a market for a large portion of their catch. Most of them fish for black cod but catch up 100,000 pounds per year of other species that have traditionally been dis­carded because no one would buy them. “That’s a huge inefficiency,” says Alan, who found that many of the fish being thrown away were actually very tasty and nutritious.

Real Good Fish then partnered with the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District to set up a program called Bay­2Tray, addressing two problems at once by creating a market for the “unmarket­able” fish and providing school children with affordable and healthy protein for their lunches. The fish tacos and other meals made possible through this pro­gram are very popular among students.

The $100,000 check Alan accepted will help Real Good Fish expand this pro­gram further. “We feel incredibly lucky and grateful,” says Alan. “This recogni­tion means a lot to our business and our community.”

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Eva Gudbergsdottir