Slow Fish Caribe

Slow Fish Caribe recognizes the importance of working in a network, of exchanging knowledge, learning, experiences and good practices in order to move towards a common vision that promotes and values artisanal fishing in the region, as well as promoting the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources and the management of marine protected areas with a holistic and shared approach.

In this framework, the Slow Fish Caribbean project promotes the conservation of the biodiversity of Caribbean coastal ecosystems and coral reefs, consolidating good practices for the sustainable use of food resources in protected areas called Biosphere Reserves. Since 2017, the project has been working on the coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico, which is home to the Sian Ka’an and Banco Chichorro Biosphere Reserves; and in the Colombian Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, home of the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve. The aim is to promote the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources in the Caribbean’s complex, fragile, biodiverse coral reef ecosystems, which are suffering from overexploitation. The key elements are the diversification of production, the promotion of local products, the strengthening of production processes linked to artisanal fishing, and the marketing of Slow Food Presidia products (the Providencia Black Crab and the Banco Chinchorro and Sian Ka’an Spiny Lobster) and other products central to traditional gastronomy.

The project — Slow Fish Caribe: Strengthening conservation models and sustainable use in Caribbean protected areas linked to Slow Food — is financed by the European Union, as part of the “EU Biodiversity for Life” initiative, and is being implemented by Slow Food in partnership with the Fundación Activos Culturales Afro (ACUA) and the Corporación para el Desarrollo Sostenible del Archipiélago de San Andrés, Providencia y Santa Catalina (CORALINA) in Colombia, and the Colectividad Razonatura and Amigos de Sian Ka’an in Mexico.

  • The Context

    With fishing, as with farming, Slow Food firmly believes that each individual can contribute to changing the mechanisms of a globalized food system based on the intensive exploitation of resources.

    By rediscovering those different and forgotten flavours that the globalized market tends to erase and creating new or updated recipes, the international Slow Fish campaign seeks to recover communities’ traditional knowledge and ways of eating and to protect the resources of rivers, lakes and seas. To have any chance of success, this reflection must begin at the local level and be developed in a network. For this reason, Slow Fish runs several regional initiatives.

    One example is Slow Fish Caribe whose network includes academics, activists, chefs, fishing communities and representatives of institutions from countries throughout the Caribbean such as Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Panama, Haiti and the islands of Grenada (Little Martinique), among others.

  • The Project

    The project “Slow Fish Caribbean: consolidating models of conservation and sustainable consumption in areas of interest to Slow Food” promotes the conservation of the biodiversity of Caribbean coastal ecosystems and coral reefs, consolidating good practices for the sustainable use of food resources in protected areas.

    Although it includes communities across the Caribbean, the project focuses mainly on three biosphere reserves: the Sian Ka’an and Banco Chichorro biosphere reserves on Mexico’s Quintana Roo coast and the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve in the San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina Archipelago.

    The project is directed to artisan fisherfolk and processors of the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve on the islands of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina (Colombia), the fishing cooperatives of the Biosphere Reserves of Sian Kaan (SK) and Banco Chinchorro in Mexico and other fishing and marine resource gathering communities in various Caribbean countries.

  • Main Goals

    Three main objectives are being pursued by the project activities:

    • Promotion of traditional knowledge and consolidation of technical and administrative expertise of benefiting communities inside and outside protected areas in Colombia and Mexico in order to improve the management and use of natural marine and coastal resources and diversify the communities’ productive activities, hence to reduce the extraction of resources.
    • Increase of the economic and social wellbeing of local communities and their commitment to conservation, and promotion of sustainable management of marine and coastal zones through the sustainable use of local food resources as the driving force of local development with a cultural identity.
    • Increase of the access to the knowledge, experiences and results of different models of intervention in protected areas, spreading best practices in the Caribbean region, beginning with Slow Food’s Slow Fish Caribbean network.
  • The Partnership

    El proyecto, en cooperación con 13 entidades colaboradoras en el Caribe, está siendo implementado por Slow Food en conjunto con:  

    The ACUA Foundation is an entity that promotes the sustainable development of Afro-descendant populations through the rescue and valorization of the cultural and natural assets of the territories where they live, assuming the commitment to promote transformations that aim to achieve a more effective inclusion in the economic, social and political life of their countries.

    CORALINA Corporation is a public corporate body whose territorial jurisdiction is the Archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, Colombia. It is the highest environmental authority in the Archipelago, and has functions related to the protection, conservation and sustainable use of renewable natural resources and the environment; scientific research and technology transfer; regional planning of land use and marine resources to mitigate or defuse pressures of inappropriate exploitation of natural resources. It works to promote the integration of the native communities that inhabit the islands and their ancestral methods of use of nature to the process of conservation, protection and sustainable use of renewable natural resources and the environment and to promote, with the cooperation of national and international entities, the generation of appropriate technologies for the use and conservation of the resources and the environment of the archipelago.

    Colectividad Razonatura is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes sustainable development and the conservation of ecosystems by encouraging participation and collaboration with the communities that inhabit them. Razonatura A.C. was conceived and developed in Mexico by a transdisciplinary team of professionals in biology, engineering and social sciences with experience in research and applied projects, with the purpose of providing development alternatives for the rational use of natural resources, and the promotion of social equity in harmony with its natural environment.

    Amigos de Sian Ka'an is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1986 as a societal response to the viability of the newly created Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Over the years the organization has extended its work to the entire state of Quintana Roo, in the eastern Yucatan Peninsula in the Mexican Caribbean. Its mission is to conserve the integrity and functionality of the ecosystems of the Yucatan Peninsula, promoting the socioeconomic development of its communities and influencing their culture and environmental policies based on science. It is the leading organization in conservation and sustainable development in the Yucatan Peninsula, with a technical and managerial team of excellence, in alliance with the diverse actors of socie

    LA RED SLOW FISH CARIBE

    Slow Fish Caribe pretende consolidarse como una red formada por pescadores artesanales, representantes de organizaciones de pescadores, pescaderos, biólogos marinos, antropólogos, cocineros y dueños de restaurantes, estudiantes, ciudadanos preocupados, periodistas, cineastas, docentes, investigadores, consultores y ambientalistas, artistas, organizadores de eventos, entre muchos otros. La diversidad de las diferentes perspectivas, comprometidas en un diálogo continuo, abierto y transparente que no teme abordar la complejidad, las contradicciones y las incertidumbres, permite a la red y a quienes estén interesados ampliar su conocimiento y comprensión de las problemáticas a las que se enfrentan los pescadores artesanales, al tiempo que proporciona energía y motivación para continuar trabajando juntos en la construcción de un futuro mejor para los pescadores de la región del Caribe.

    La Red Slow Fish Caribe juega un rol fundamental en la multiplicación de los efectos del Proyecto en los territorios de intervención y otros países del Caribe, generando sinergias entre los pescadores artesanales, los recolectores y en general las comunidades costeras y dando visibilidad a su rol en la protección de los recursos marino-costeros y a su capacidad de generar economías locales en armonía con los ecosistemas.

    Other Collaborating Entities 

    • Asociacion Afrocolombiana De Pescadores Con Cordel (APESCORDEL) – Colombia
    • Asociación San Juanera De Pescadores Artesanales – Colombia
    • Old Providence and Santa Catalina Fishing and Farming Cooperative Enterprise – Colombia
    • Asociación de pescadores artesanales del Caribe Sur (ASOPACS) – Costa Rica
    • Estación Experimental de Pastos y Forrajes “Indio Hatuey” – Cuba
    • Lighthouse Foundation, Stiftung für die Meere und Ozeane – Alemania
    • Comité de pescadores artesanales de la Aldea Quetzalito, pertenecientes a la Federación Nacional de Pescadores Artesanales de Guatemala FENAPESCA – Guatemala
    • Fundación Mundo Azul – Guatemala
    • Centro de Estudios Marinos – Honduras
    • CENAT – Costa Rica
    • Belize Federation of Fishers – Belize
    • Mesoamerican Reef Fund Inc. – MAR Fund – Estados Unidos
    • Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas CONANP – México

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