It’s Slow Fish time!

03 June 2021

Slow Fish, the biennial event organized in Italy by Slow Food and the Liguria Region, will be divided into both online and offline activities this year due to the ongoing pandemic. The theme of the tenth edition is The Water Cycles.

Online activities start today: a rich program of events addresses the problems and challenges our seas face, bringing together diverse communities of fishers, scientists, cooks and organizations that show us how we can all play a role in creating a better future. Among these online activities at Slow Fish we’ll have Conferences and Forums; explanatory How It’s Made videos which reveal production techniques, recipes and other food preparation secrets; Sea Tales, stories of people and communities around the world; Fish Out Of Water, online dialogues that bring apparently-distant worlds together; and Food Talks with writers, economists, philosophers, anthropologists and ecologists.

The physical event will take place in Genoa, Italy, from July 1-4: Taste Workshops, Dinner Dates and other local meetings in Liguria are all on the Slow Fish Menu. Check out the full program!  

A complex web of interconnections

“The goal of Slow Fish 2021 is to show how individual and collective choices have collateral effects far beyond what we can see, thanks to the complex web of interconnections which links everything, from the microscopic all the way up to the planetary level”,  comments Tasha Sutcliffe, a Canadian scientist and member of the new Slow Fish Advisory Board. This new guiding tool for the international Slow Fish network, presented today, involves researchers, activists and experts from various fields, including fishers. It covers different regional contexts and plays an important cohesive, proactive and pragmatic role within the network. The Advisory Board will provide guidance on issues related to the political direction of the campaign and respond to more technical and regional issues related to the biological, environmental, and economic aspects of fisheries. Meet the members of the board here

“Slow Fish has always looked to the seas and the oceans. But the life of the seas and oceans, and their health, has a strong impact on our own lives on this planet”, adds Paula Barbeito, coordinator of the Slow Fish Network. “Think of the influence that the seas and oceans have on the climate, or the ways human behavior can damage these ecosystems. Intensive production activities, for example, require the massive use of chemical substances that pollute the atmosphere, increase atmospheric carbon, and even impact the pH level of the oceans. This provokes their long-term acidification. On the other hand, activities which aim for greater sustainability do so by seeking to disturb the natural equilibrium as little as possible.” Find out more here

Conferences and webinars at Slow Fish

The oceans and their interconnections will be the main focus of the conference The Future of Our Oceans, organized on June 8, World Oceans Day. The Slow Fish vision of the oceans as a global commons will be presented by members of the Advisory Board, as well as best practices and potential solutions to common problems. 

On June 14 the forum Marine biodiversity: a network of connections will show how river basins are fundamental for the transportation of nutrient rich fresh water that is vital to oceanic life. Through stories from all around the world we will explore collective efforts on land to take care of the sea, and what happens when that collective effort does not exist.

On June 21 during the webinar Classifying marine debris we will focus our attention on policies which aim to reduce the level of plastic in the sea and how fishers can dispose of marine debris.

On June 30 we present Foodnected, a project promoting transition to sustainable and fair food systems in the Mediterranean region. Its core values are defined by small-scale food producers whose work represents a better future for people and the planet.

Gardens or monocultures? Seaweed cultivation at the crossroads. During this panel discussion on July 3, small-scale wild harvesters around the world will think critically through contemporary seaweed issues, dominant aquaculture narratives, and the blue economy paradigm. 

New approaches

“For too long, and for complex reasons, policies have not placed the seas at the core of planning activities in the fields of education, the environment, health, economy, and justice,” comments Nina Wolff, expert on fisheries, marine environmental and biodiversity conservation issues and member of the Slow Fish Advisory Board. “The current situation is critical. It is easy to observe the state of degradation and frailty of the marine ecosystems and of the populations whose survival directly depends on them. But at the same time the current situation also shows positive signs: Society is becoming increasingly aware of environmental and food issues and sensitive to the ethics of consumption. We need to seize this opportunity and implement new governance methods and new approaches as soon as possible.”

Slow Fish is also the international Slow Food campaign committed to rediscovering the value chain behind fish. It evolved from the collective knowledge of the international Slow Fish network, a community of fishers, producers, biologists and cooks working to strengthen their social relationships. It’s an indispensable foundation for a healthy and environmentally-friendly value chain.