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Slow Fish: "Policy supports fishermen who are already making the ecological conversion"

The 11th edition of the event closed on Sunday, June 4, at the Old Port: a success with visitors interested in learning about a world already looking to the future

05, Jun 2023


«There is a world of people who have already realized that this system of food production and distribution is anachronistic, that reasoning about infinite growth no longer makes sense in the face of the finiteness of the resources that should guarantee it. They are the mussel farmers and fishermen, the mistresses and artisans, the experts and researchers we met during these four days at Slow Fish and who are already making the ecological conversion of their activities, researching, experimenting, inventing solutions that are adequate from an economic point of view and respectful from an environmental one» says Barbara Nappini, president of Slow Food Italy, at the end of the four-day event that brought tens of thousands of visitors to Genoa's Old Port. «What we are asking today is that politics, at all levels, take note of this world, that they do their part to support the seeds of change that are already underway. The Genoa event is a stage that we set to tell these experiences, to build a network in which all the nodes empower each other. And we do this together with consumers of all ages starting with the pleasure of learning about and tasting the fisheries products, oils, wines and breads of Slow Food networks from all over Italy» concludes Nappini.

«Slow Fish is now a fixture in the panorama of Genoese events. It is an event that brings with it not only an awareness of quality food and wine, but always opens up to current issues on which our society must reflect and administrations of all orders are called upon to provide answers. Once again the participation and interest of insiders and the public demonstrated the importance of this event that the city administration wants to consolidate more and more in our city». This was stated by the mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci.

The heart of the event was the Masaf area, made possible thanks to Po Feamp 2014-2020, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, which hosted the Slow Fish Arena lectures, show cooking with Slow Food Alliance chefs, and the Ludoteca with activities for children.

In the lectures and Taste Workshops in the Royal Mutual Hall - but also during the show cooking and lunches organized by the regions and municipalities present with exhibition spaces and fishermen's collectives - we heard the story of Nikki Spil, now 33, daughter of fishermen, who in the north of the Netherlands has set up an ocean farm where she grows oysters, scallops and seaweed in an integrated system. She got the idea when her father told her one day, “All the fish are dying here, we have to do something”. But in the Ligurian capital have also arrived the cooks and chefs who from the south to the north of Italy are experimenting in the kitchen - with excellent feedback - with so - called alien species, transforming an ecological threat into a gastronomic opportunity: the Mariscadoras with blue crab, Daniele Provezza of Dispensa Franciacorta on Lake Iseo with torpedo fish and Ernesto Palma with greenhouse fish from Puglia.

And then there are the little girls and boys who came to Slow Fish with eyes of wonder and hope to participate in the workshops organized at the Children's and Young People's City and Aquarium in collaboration with UniCredit and the activities of the Ludoteca. Some of them about aquatic ecosystems know a lot about them, so much so that their little friends call them "prof," while others will go home with a new awareness about alien and endangered species. "What's in store for us in 2100? No one knows going forward at this rate, although there are several scenarios. It's certainly a shame that the girls and boys of tomorrow will not be able to enjoy all the biodiversity that we enjoyed as children. Today's young people are already born with an awareness of the climate and environmental crisis, so our role as adults is first to set a good example, and then to let them experience their relationship with water, land, plants and animals," recalled Marirosa Iannelli, of the Water Grabbing Observatory.

The next stage that Slow Food will set for the protagonists of aquatic ecosystems is a new event that will involve another important seaside city: in fact, the first edition of Slow Med, the event dedicated to the themes of the sea, productions and culture of the Mediterranean peoples, will be held in Taranto from October 6 to 8. This and the role of seaside cities in regeneration were discussed at the closing conference of Slow Fish , with speeches by Leandro Ventura, director of the Central Institute for the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Giovanna Cepparello, councillor for the environment of the City of Livorno and food policy contact person for the City of Livorno, Valentina Gucciardo, manager of Orti in condotta, Francesco Maresca, councillor for Heritage, Port, Sea and Fisheries of the City of Genoa.

But the Slow Food network is a movement that moves on all fronts: proceeds from the dinner organized in collaboration with the association Tempi di Recupero (based in Faenza, Ravenna), on the initiative of the two restaurants L'Acciughetta and Dispensa Franciacorta, will be donated to producers in Romagna. Joint initiatives will also be announced in the coming weeks while it is possible to continue donating through the current account activated by Slow Food Italia Aps dedicated to the emergency in Emilia-Romagna: IT 73 B 03268 46040 0529044 02311 at Banca Sella. Every euro raised from donations to this fundraiser, and its use, will be publicly accounted for.

A pact against waste
One aspect that is never absent from Slow Food events are local food policies, and in this edition of Slow Fish in particular the issue surrounding food waste, an unacceptable phenomenon because of wasted resources-water, land, energy- , food thrown away, and the number of people in the world suffering from hunger or malnutrition. At Slow Fish an agreement has been signed with Ricibo, an association with which Slow Food has already been collaborating for a few editions and which, thanks to dozens of volunteers, every day picks up unsold food from supermarkets, stores and stores to distribute it to more than 35 associations operating in the various neighborhoods of Genoa. Each association then delivers products and preparations to families in need, solidarity soup kitchens and the homeless. Incredible volunteer work to ensure that nothing is wasted in Genoa but at the same time help those in need: even Slow Fish, will give its small contribution.

Bye Genoa, see you in May 2025!

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