With fishing, just as with agriculture, Slow Food strongly believes that every individual can contribute in his or her own small way to changing the mechanisms of a globalized food system based on the intensive exploitation of resources.
Slow Food, with its strong local and international experience, is convinced that we can only bring about change by returning to the origins of food, putting curiosity and pleasure at the service of responsible choices.
We are rediscovering different, forgotten flavors, which the globalized market tends to obliterate, and new or updated recipes. We are seeking to recover the traditional wisdom of fishing communities, who often have not moved far afrom ancient fishing practices, the diets of past generations, and the known and unknown resources guarded by rivers, lakes and seas. All these things are part of our story and our identity.
In this spirit, the international Slow Fish campaign is launching initiatives that promote artisanal fishing and neglected fish species and inspire reflection on the state and management of the sea’s resources. To have any chance of success, this reflection must start at a local level.
The Slow Fish event, held every two years in Genoa, is the most complete expression of our approach, with a large space dedicated to information for consumers, awareness-raising for children and encounters between people involved in sustainable fishing. And of course, there are plenty of opportunities for tasting all the delicious seafood that visitors have been learning about. During the 2009 edition, Slow Food presented Fare's Fair, a practical guide for Mediterranean consumers wishing to know more on the subject of sustainable fishing, along with an entertaining and educational version of the guide, Bare Bones, for children.
The international Slow Fish campaign includes the creation of this multilingual website, which brings together existing information, organized to paint as complete and nuanced a picture as possible of the complex situation that lies behind a plate of fish.
The Which Fish? section gathers together the contributions from the Slow Fish Challenge, a scheme launched throughout the Slow Food and Terra Madre network – 100,000 Slow Food members plus 5,000 food producers, farmers and fisherfolk; 1,000 cooks and 500 academics. Everyone in the network is asked to participate by sending in local recipes for sustainable seafood and information about the types of fish used.
A variation of the bare bones booklet has been developed for schools, to transform it into a teaching tool that illustrates the basic concepts of fish sustainability, such as seasonality, sizes and reproductive age, to help every class research their own local fish species.
The Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity is playing a key role. In recent years it has launched 23 Presidia projects with Terra Madre fishing communities. The Slow Fish in Action section gives visibility to these projects, along with all the activities undertaken every day by the members of our network to promote good, clean and fair fish.