Slow Fish: How artisanal fishing safeguards the soul of the coasts


The event is back in Genoa, Italy, from June 1 to 4


The closing report of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA), recently released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), stressed that 492 million people depend at least partially on small-scale fisheries for their livelihoods and that 40% of fishers and fishworkers are women.


Slow Food, together with the Liguria Region, are organizing the 11th edition of Slow Fish in Genoa, Italy, from June 1 to 4, to focus on safeguarding marine and coastal ecosystems. This year’s theme, Coast to Coast, emphasizes that the waters should be considered separately from the land: aquatic and terrestrial environments are profoundly interconnected.


We can’t ignore the influence that the seas and oceans have on the climate, or the fact that our behavior on land has profound effects on the health of the waters. We need to promote good practices in the realm of sustainable fishing but also across a whole range of coastal activities. In this regard the role of cities is fundamental, as they are key junctions of exchange  between peoples, cultures, and goods. Then there’s the action we can all take on land for the good of aquatic ecosystems: from the proper use of water to pesticide-free agriculture and the elimination of single-use plastics. On that topic, the IYAFA report recognizes and supports the contribution of small-scale artisanal fisheries to food security and nutrition.



A taste of the program


Conferences and meetings at the Fisher’s Platform are an opportunity to explore key issues and reflect on our purchasing choices. In the Slow Fish Arena, in-depth discussions feature marine biologists, scholars, writers, climatologists and representatives of institutions, as well as fishermen and mussel farmers, whose experiences are testimony to environmental, economic and social issues.


On June 1 the conference Where the land meets the sea we discuss coastal ecosystems as a junction where we can most easily see the multifaceted nature of the  interconnections between land and sea. Considering their fragility from a holistic perspective is vital for the development of systemic solutions to the great challenges of our time. “The land feeds the sea, in particular through rivers. The creatures of the oceans need the nurseries of the coastal marshes and estuaries to develop, where soil microorganisms digest decomposing plant matter”, explains Pierre Mollo, biologist and plankton researcher, who speaks at the conference. “Marine biodiversity depends on the preservation of these natural balances. Thus we can say that if we are to live from the sea’s bounty tomorrow, we must protect life on Earth today”.


The conferences’ program continues on June 2 with Water, water everywhere: diary of an aquatic emergency, which addresses the water crisis, a dramatic indicator of climate change; Restoring the beauty of the sea, on June 3, which provides a platform to those who are working to clean up the seas, with the participation of Franco Borgogno of the European Research Institute. Last but not least,  Kissed by the sea: the revival of coastal cities on June 4 addresses how coastal cities can become poles of exchange, and drivers of change for the good of the environment and all lifeforms.


At the Fisher’s Platform visitors can hear the testimonies of those who live on, and with, the sea every day, facing its beauty and its challenges, from pollution to environmental changes.


Slow Fish 2023 is first and foremost an opportunity to learn, thanks to the educational activities organized by Slow Food and the Genoa Aquarium with the support of Unicredit. We investigate the issues at the heart of the event through the conferences and forums in the Slow Fish Arena, but also through the Taste Workshops, Dinner Dates and cooking classes together with chefs.


The event also features an area dedicated to food trucks, street kitchens and craft beers, an enoteca with more than 300 wine labels, the Market, whose stalls and regional collectives showcase the best of coastal fishing and agriculture products, and the Slow Food Presidia that protect the rich biodiversity of the coastal ecosystem.


Slow Fish 2023 is organized by Slow Food and the Liguria region, with the support of the city of Genoa. Slow Fish is made possible thanks to the support of numerous entities that believe in the project, starting with Main Partners BBBell, Pastificio Di Martino, Quality Beer Academy, Reale Mutua and UniCredit. The event also enjoys the collaboration of the Porto Antico of Genoa, the support of Fondazione Carige, and the support of the Genoa Chamber of Commerce. The cultural partner is the Central Institute for Intangible Heritage.



More on the event here

Pictures and videos available here:



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