Slow Fish is an international campaign and series of gatherings that bring together fish harvesters with chefs, youth, farmers, and seafood eaters. The goal is to turn the tide away from industrial seafood and toward the blue commons and seafood that is good, clean, and fair for all.
Slow Fish is making waves throughout the USA. Between Slow Fish New Orleans 2016 and Slow Fish San Francisco 2018 we brought together 500 people, fish harvesters from every region, 50 convivia leaders, 100 presenters, 10 international guests, and raised over $10K to support 40 fish harvesters and indigenous leaders to attend.
Seafood is part of the broader food movement. The ocean covers over 70% of our planet, and the way we treat our waters says a lot about our society and food system. Just as it matters to know your farmer, knowing your *fisherman makes a big difference in our communities, in our local and regional economies, and the ocean. The Slow Fish campaign aims to elevate good, clean, and fair seafood; honor fair compensation for our seafood harvesters; and promote the long-term health of our planet.
fishermen: In the US context, this an inclusive and gender-neutral term for us, and the one used most commonly among women who fish in our network. It’s meant to refer to those who might also use the terms fish harvesters, fisherwomen, fishermisses, fishers, and intertidal gatherers, as well as those practicing restorative aquaculture on a sustainable scale.
Good, Clean and Fair Seafood
More than 80% of the seafood we eat in the U.S. is imported, yet we catch and harvest enough nationally to feed ourselves. The average boat-to-plate journey is over 5,000 miles. We can do better than this, anchored to the Slow Food vision of food that is good, clean, and fair for all:
wholesome, seasonal, local, fresh, and delicious.
preserves biodiversity, sustains the environment, and nourishes a healthy lifestyle for both humans and animals.
honors the dignity of labor from boat to plate, the diversity of cultures and traditions in the United States, and strengthens awareness of our ocean as a public commons resource. This food is accessible for everyone to enjoy.
Slow Fish Resources
Connect with Slow Fish on Facebook, find a Community Supported Fishery, stay up to date with the latest seafood events and happenings, or find some local workshops!
- Slow Fish on Facebook
- Find values-based seafood
- Slow Fish webinar series
- Slow Fish Blog
- New Orleans 2016: A Slow Fish Snapshot
- Host or attend a Seafood Throwdown event
- An NPR Story: Can Slow Fish Help Save America’s Small-Scale Fishermen?
Slow Fish Gatherings
Slow Fish gatherings are happening around the world. From the watersheds of the Northern Seas, to the Mediterranean, to the South Pacific, stakeholders along the supply chain are gathering to advance the common vision of good, clean, and fair seafood for all. Both Terra Madre and Slow Fish Genoa host every-other-year gatherings for Slow Fish leaders around the world to connect. Check out the International Slow Fish campaign to learn more.
In the USA, the next nation-wide gathering will take place in Durham, New Hampshire, on March 19-22. Tickets go on sale January 2020. The purpose and outcomes of the 2020 gathering are:
- Strengthen and grow the Slow Fish community: We want to expand the Slow Fish geographic representation across North America and beyond, and create an open table for all races, cultures, ages, sexes and everyone who wants to embrace the Slow Fish values supporting community-based fisheries. We want to strengthen connections between seafood harvesters, fishmongers, chefs and seafood eaters, creating simpler, more direct supply chains based on Slow Fish Values of providing Good, Clean, Fair seafood for all.
- Empower Slow Fish advocates and leaders: Growing the network means spreading the message and training those who will bring that message into their communities. Our goal is to help these thought leaders better understand how to map Slow Fish values into effective advocacy and policy that support community-based fisheries.
- Engage Slow Food chapters and collaborate with like-minded organizations: Growing the network also means teaming with organizations like Slow Food and Local Catch that share many of the same core values as Slow Fish. We will do this by identifying common ground with these organizations, sharing the Slow Fish narrative and history, and finding ways to collaborate on projects that advance those shared values. For example, we’re working on ways to address common issues such as privatization and consolidation that are shared with both land-based and ocean-based harvesters.
- Educate the public and inspire seafood citizens: We want to engage the public in the conversation about why our seafood choices matter to community-based fish harvesters, fishmongers, chefs, marine ecosystems, and yes, seafood eaters. To do this, we’ll discuss what Slow Fish is, what it does, and why knowing the story of your seafood (species, location, harvester, fishmonger, chef, etc.) ensures quality and supports harvesters who care about and depend upon the resource. Ultimately, we want these seafood citizens to help spread the message and counter the industrial seafood system’s market impact.
- Elevate and align with the International Blue Commons Campaign: Community-based fish harvesters are often the most vocal stewards of the resource because their lives depend on that resource and the marine ecosystems that support it. As such, we need to treat our oceans as a shared resource that must be fairly accessible to all, and NOT dominated by a handful of global enterprises. We want to oppose privatization, concentration of fisheries access, and commodification of seafood, while also raising awareness around better alternatives.
- Celebrate and enjoy thebounty of New England Seafood.