With fishing, as with farming, Slow Food firmly believes that each individual can contribute to changing the mechanisms of a globalized food system based on the intensive exploitation of resources.

By rediscovering those different and forgotten flavours that the globalized market tends to erase and creating new or updated recipes, the international Slow Fish campaign seeks to recover communities’ traditional knowledge and ways of eating and to protect the resources of rivers, lakes and seas. To have any chance of success, this reflection must begin at the local level and be developed in a network. For this reason, Slow Fish runs several regional initiatives.

One example is Slow Fish Caribe whose network includes academics, activists, chefs, fishing communities and representatives of institutions from countries throughout the Caribbean such as Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Panama, Haiti and the islands of Grenada (Little Martinique), among others.

Slow Fish Caribe recognizes the importance of working in a network, of exchanging knowledge, learning, experiences and good practices in order to move towards a common vision that promotes and values artisanal fishing in the region, as well as promoting the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources and the management of marine protected areas with a holistic and shared approach.

In this framework, the Slow Fish Caribbean project promotes the conservation of the biodiversity of Caribbean coastal ecosystems and coral reefs, consolidating good practices for the sustainable use of food resources in protected areas called Biosphere Reserves. Since 2017, the project has been working on the coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico, which is home to the Sian Ka’an and Banco Chichorro Biosphere Reserves; and in the Colombian Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, home of the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve. The aim is to promote the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources in the Caribbean’s complex, fragile, biodiverse coral reef ecosystems, which are suffering from overexploitation. The key elements are the diversification of production, the promotion of local products, the strengthening of production processes linked to artisanal fishing, and the marketing of Slow Food Presidia products (the Providencia Black Crab and the Banco Chinchorro and Sian Ka’an Spiny Lobster) and other products central to traditional gastronomy.

The project — Slow Fish Caribe: Strengthening conservation models and sustainable use in Caribbean protected areas linked to Slow Food — is financed by the European Union, as part of the “EU Biodiversity for Life” initiative, and is being implemented by Slow Food in partnership with the Fundación Activos Culturales Afro (ACUA) and the Corporación para el Desarrollo Sostenible del Archipiélago de San Andrés, Providencia y Santa Catalina (CORALINA) in Colombia, and the Colectividad Razonatura and Amigos de Sian Ka’an in Mexico.