The fish we put on our tables is often seen simply as food, a source of protein in our diet, or even a way to lose weight; in reality it reflects a system of relationships between chemical elements, microorganisms, human activities—fishing, selling, trading, cooking—and environmental factors. This system is so complex that most of us don’t understand it. 

Did you know that plankton provides up to two-thirds of the oxygen we breathe and is the base of the aquatic food chain? Have you ever considered the seasonality of marine life? Do you know which ecosystem your fish comes from? Or who caught your fish? Do you have a trusted fishmonger who helps you choose what to buy? 

Slow Fish is the international Slow Food campaign committed to rediscovering the value chain behind fish.

This chain begins with plankton, the foundation of marine biodiversity and an element without which no other aquatic species could exist. The chain then encompasses the management of marine and fishery resources by small-scale fishers around the world, transport, trade and finally, the kitchen. 

This campaign evolves from the collective knowledge of the international Slow Fish network, a community of fishers, producers, biologists and cooks working to strengthen their social relationships: an indispensable foundation for a healthy and environmentally-friendly value chain. Their identities, their knowledge, their languages and their stories are not just a valuable asset to be safeguarded, they’re the most powerful and effective tool we have for us understand the wonderful complexity we live in. 

In this spirit, Slow Fish is launching initiatives that promote the artisanal fishing practices and neglected fish species that the globalized market tends to disregard and even destroy; initiatives which aim to inspire reflection on the state of water resources and their management. To have any chance of success, these initiatives must take root at a local level. 

Slow Fish, the biennial event held in Genoa, Italy, is a meeting focused on consumer education, starting with the younger generation. It brings together a diverse community of fishers, scientists, cooks and organizations that show us how we can all play a role in creating a better future.

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