Sunday, April 14, 2013

About Slow Fish and responsible fishing

Are you planning a trip to Italy, the first half of this May? Have a look at what you can do in Genoa, Porto Antico, where the will be a lot of events organized by the Slow Food campaign. Do you want to know more about it? We made for you an interview about the campaign as such and the events scheduled!

- What does it mean the 'slow fish' movement? 

Slow Fish is a campaign and not a movement. As almost all Slow Food campaigns it is characterized by three aspects:
            - Network
            - Events
            - Communication

The international Slow Fish campaign promotes artisanal fishing and responsible fish consumption. Slow Fish tries to show people the richness and complexity of the world of fishing, so that consumers make more informed choices and widen their choices beyond the most popular - and often overfished – species. The campaign invites people to find local solutions that support a better management of the sea resources. Slow Food has been working in the field of sustainable fishing for years with the biennial Slow Fish event in Genoa (Italy), local initiatives all over the world and projects supporting responsible fishing communities. The multilingual website - - brings together existing information and resources on the issue, and communicates what the Slow Food network is doing.

Knowing the limits of fishing

- Many communities, especially in Africa, depend for their daily survival upon fishing. What are the solutions for finding the right balance against intensive fishing and poverty? What are the possibilities to pressure for balanced policies outside the EU?

It is important to train local fishermen how to fish in a sustainable way. They need to know the limits of fishing and also that the techniques they use can be destructive for the future. Therefore they need to learn about low impact techniques.

To find the right balance, foreign fleets need to stop fishing so much. Also foreign fleets should only be allowed to fish sustainable and in the right quantity, and additionally they must share the fish stock with the local population (must be a priority)! Furthermore the government should control the fleets to avoid illegal fishing. Also, the government should train the fishermen.
Important to know is, that the environment of fishing is different from country to country (e.g., some rivers carry more sediments than others, and therefore the amount of fish can vary). Thus the starting points in finding a balance are different.

As a part of the common fisheries reform, foreign fleets are only allowed to fish the surplus. They should respect the same rules in Africa as they would in the EU (respect the maximum sustainable yields). The problem is that this new law still doesn’t talk about sharing the fish with the local community. Agreements between the EU and African countries differ a lot and therefore ca be more or less fair. The money foreign fleets pay for fishing should go into coastal development and not into someone’s pocket.

 Slow Fish, an unique event

- What will happen in Genova? What are the main events that you prepare for the public and specialists? What are your objectives?

Slow Fish. In Genoa (Italy), at Slow Fish, academics, researchers, small-scale fishers, representatives of public bodies and enthusiasts discuss sustainable fishing and production, responsible fish consumption and the health of marine and freshwater ecosystems. A large market, conferences, meetings, workshops and tasting sessions make Slow Fish a unique event entirely dedicated to the world of fishing and its issues. The 2013 edition will take place outdoors from May 9-12 in the streets of Porto Antico, in the heart of the city.

Main events:

(for further information check the website:

-        Fish n’ Chef
-        Dinner Dates
-        The Postrivoro
-        Workshops for children and adults
-        Water Workshops
-        Pescando s’impara à Learning by fishing
-        Slow Fish, Green Fish
-        Workshops for the Slow Food network

The objective is to educate people about the complexity of the issue. It should Slow inform consumers, encourage interaction between those involved in the world of small-scale fishing and promote good, clean and fair fish.

Say 'cheese'!

- What other events do you plan for the next months?

A really important and international event is “Cheese”. It is Slow Food's biennial event dedicated to cheese and dairy which brings together hundreds of the world's best cheeses and their producers, as well as experts, cheese mongers and cooks, with a focus on promoting artisan production, diversity and raw milk. The street markets, educational activities, dinning areas, in-depth conferences and more offer a tasty path to understanding this fascinating world. 
An estimated 160,000 people attended in 2011. The next edition, from September 20-23, 2013, will bring together once again the Slow Food’s network of artisan dairy producers, cheese mongers, herders and experts in Bra, Italy.

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