The guiding theme of Slow Fish, happing this weekend in Genoa is the sea belongs to everyone, the idea that the future of the sea, a valuable resource that we must look after, is dependent on how we humans behave both on land and at sea. What we take from the sea is considered ‘ownerless’, therefore nobody is responsible and the sea can be abused. Human actions have caused the problems, but they are also the only way of turning things around. From the fisher to the consumer and everybody in between, visitors at Slow Fish this weekend tell us how they do their part in looking after our seas….
Sanjay the Sardine (and Chef)
“As a chef it’s my role to do the homework for my customers, so that they make the right decision. Customers can sometimes get comfortable with a certain type of species that they know, but is our role to make it fun and spark their interest in new options.
If I were a fish… I would definitely be a sardine. It’s little but it has a lot of power. Sardines travel in groups and that’s their strength. They fight off predators by sticking together and that’s what we need to do too – stick together by sharing our knowledge.”
Sanjay Kumar, UK
Chef and Slow Food Cornwall Convivium leader
Silvio the Octopus (and Student)
“What is the point of studying if we aren’t going to spread what we learn? I study at the University of Gastronomic Sciences and we learn all about sustainable food. Our job as students is to take this knowledge beyond the university walls and turn it into action and something concrete for the community.”
If I were a fish… I would be an octopus. They are the cleverest of the sea.”
Silvio Misono Rodrigues, Brazil
Student at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Italy
Carsten the Harder (and NGO worker)
“As an NGO we work to support fishing communities that don’t have many rights, trying to push for legislation that works in their favor.
If I were a fish… I would be a harder, a South African saltwater fish. It’s a very efficient, strategic fish. When it’s threatened, it disappears in all different directions. It’s all about tactics.”
Carsten Pedersen, (Denmark, South Africa)
Masifundise Development Trust
Lider the Sierra (and Fisherman)
We fishermen need to play an active role in choosing fishing methods that are traditional and low impact, and manage finishing in a ways that is collective and based on the community. Fishing is part of our cultures; we fishers need to become active protagonists.
If I were a fish… I would be a sierra. They are delicious flavorsome fish that we eat with coconut.”
Lider Gongora Farias, Ecuador
Jessie the Anchovy (and Fish Eater)
“The fish issue is really complicated. I often speak to fishmongers and people who know about fish to figure out what I should buy, but I also think that as consumers we need to ask for more guidelines. There needs to be an easy way to understand what is the right choice.”
If I were a fish… I would be an anchovy – little and quick, and fast to escape!”
Jessie Gubbins, Australia
Caroline the Mackerel (and Restaurateur)
“Restaurants really have the opportunity to be experimental and not be so prescriptive in our menus. For example, at Moshi Moshi we do a ‘catch of the day’, which is whatever fish the fisherman catches, or do a fish pie with the fresh catch of any number of fish. This means that we don’t have to ask the fishers for a specific fish. As long as it’s fresh and tastes good, the customers love it!
If I were a fish… I would like to be a mackerel. They are incredibly beautiful and very friendly – they love being around other mackerel.”
Caroline Bennett, UK
Moshi Moshi Restaurant
Michele the Plankton (and Campaigner)
“Through the Slow Fish campaign we are really trying to reconnect people to their fishers, encouraging them to form direct relationships. We are also trying to help people think of quality in a broader sense.”
If I were a fish… I would like to be plankton. Plankton create life and all life depends on plankton.”
Michele Mesmain, Italy
Slow Fish campaign director, Slow Food
Carla the Mullet (and Slow Fish event organizer)
“We think it’s so important to use these events to reach out and involve the general public – not just the event delegates – to get them to understand issues related to sustainable fish and food. We use good food and wine and tasting as an opportunity to get people interested in these issues.
If I were a fish… I would like to be a mullet. They are colorful and the perfect size, not too big or not too little.”
Event organizer, Slow Food, Italy