Slow Fish 2007 Concludes
07 May 07
The doors closed today on Slow Fish 2007, the event dedicated to the world of the sea and its issues organized by Slow Food in collaboration with the Region of Liguria. The concluding press conference was an important opportunity for assessment, taking the bearings of the situation and analyzing future prospects.
In attendance were Claudio Burlando, President of the Region of Liguria; Roberto Burdese, President of Slow Food Italy; three regional councillors, Giancarlo Cassini, Margherita Bozzano and Franco Zunino, responsible respectively for Agriculture Policies, Tourism and the Environment; and Roberto Urbani, the managing director of the Fiera di Genova, where the event was held.
The important institutional presence of the Region of Liguria at Slow Fish relates to many important aspects of the management policies of the regional administration, the laws concerning coastal zones and agriculture, the development of tourism linked to environmental sustainability and food and wine, and the ecosystems damaged by pollution and land erosion.
Roberto Burdese, President of Slow Food Italy, identified the key themes which had emerged during the course of Slow Fish: “The strong link between gastronomy and the environment has been confirmed. This is the fulcrum of our association’s philosophy and at the same time one of the fundamental issues for our future. In particular, the significant participation of young people shows how interested they are in the environment and at the same time curious about the pleasures of intelligent taste.” Attendance of the event, with a total of 46,000 visitors, exceeded that of the previous 2005 edition, when entrance was free.
In his final assessment of Slow Fish, Burdese homed in on the strength of Slow Food, namely that it creates the possibility for meeting and dialog between different individuals and groups. “The problems relating to water and marine resources involve a broad swathe of society, many different worlds which find it hard to communicate amongst each other. We’re talking about fishermen, scientists, consumers, cooks, retailers, politicians: all inspired by Slow Fish’s message and motivated to confront the environmental crisis we are facing with practical proposals.”
Burdese then defined Slow Fish as “an open building site from now until 2009.” Over the next weeks Slow Food will compile a dossier containing all the reports and testimonies on the key themes which emerged during the event, whether in seminars or from contributions by visitors, fishing communities and associations. This material will be made available to the public through the websites www.slowfood.it and www.slowfish.it.
“What’s the secret of success for Slow Fish?” asked Claudio Burlando. “The people liked it.” So summed up Burlando in his final assessment of the sustainable seafood fair.
“After two editions the project has proved that it works, reinforcing in a unique context the defense of typicality and the products from our seas, the protection of biodiversity from the risks of pollution in the Mediterranean and the safeguarding of international fishing communities,” he said.
Regarding sustainable fishing in the developing world, the regional president recalled that part of the proceeds from the fair will help provide support to the nomadic Imraguen fisherfolk of Mauritania.
Their survival is linked to the fishing of mullet, an underpaid and difficult job, carried out in motorless boats and continually threatened by illegal industrial-scale fishing in the Banc d’Arguin.
“We would very much like to go to Mauritania ourselves to bring the Slow Fish contribution to this nomadic fishing community, which is in need of help,” said Burlando. He also recalled the project to bring all of the ministers for the environment and fishing in all the Mediterranean countries to Genoa next year, together with local fishing communities, to delve further into the themes linked to the destiny of our sea.