A place of honor is reserved for the Slow Food Presidia at Slow Fish. There are 18 Presidia in Italy that protect fishing techniques, processing methods and marine biodiversity, with another 13 around the world.
These 31 Slow Food Presidia are found in the Caribbean Sea, off the coats of Brittany, Tunisia, the Netherlands and Norway. The newest Presidium is closer to home, in Puglia: the Taranto Black Mussel. At Slow Fish the Presidia are featured in Taste Workshops, in the forums of the Arena, where fishers share their stories, their challenges, and their successes.
As Slow Fish 2023 is coast to coast, we’ll also be involving other Slow Food Presidia in the event, including the Presidium for Italian extra virgin olive oil—one of the foundations of Mediterranean civilization.
Slow Food Presidia in Liguria
Active from April to September, the Camogli Tonnarella is the only fishery of its kind left in Liguria, and of just a handful in Italy. The Slow Food Presidium was created to support the fishers, whose number has declined over the years due to the particularly arduous nature of the work, which involves long days out at sea.
As in Camogli, the fishers in the Noli Gulf belong to a cooperative, one founded at the beginning of the 20th century. They set out on small boats, known as gozzi, and fish with traditional nets such as set, encircling, trammel, drift, gill nets and fish traps. The Presidium aims to promote coastal fishing and to preserve these ancient techniques that have been passed down across the centuries.
The biodiversity of wines and extra virgin olive oils
There’s an awe-inspiring example of coastal viticulture in Liguria: Along the Cinque Terre, five villages along the Ligurian coastline between Levanto and La Spezia, 4000 hectares of rocky coastline has been carved into terraces that descend steeply into the sea. Grapes and olives have long been grown on these strips of land known as cian. Keeping viticulture alive here means preserving the landscape, encouraging young people to stay and guaranteeing a future for those who choose to dedicate their lives to working the land. To do this requires producing Sciacchetrà of the highest quality that can command a profitable price on the market, in compensation for the tiny quantities produced.
The Presidium for Ancient Olive Groves is present across Italy, and there are five Ligurian olive growers among its members, from Imperia to La Spezia. The Presidium is a symbolic testament of Mediterranean civilization, a civilization which is suffering today because of the climate crisis and the industrialization of olive growing worldwide, which has made high-quality Italian olives less competitive on a market dominated by high-quantity, low-cost products.