Yesterday marked the last day of Slow Food’s sustainable seafood event, Slow Fish, held every two years in Genoa, Italy. This year’s event was attended by the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki. Her presence and espousal of the Slow Fish campaign for responsible fish consumption gives the organizers an important political boost.
During the four-day event, conferences, debates, workshops and tastings explored the issues surrounding sustainable fishing and responsible consumption. This was the fifth Slow Fish, and it had been subject to funding cuts due to the difficult economic climate. Visitor numbers were down from the previous edition, with 40,000 entrances recorded by 2 pm on Monday, compared to 55,000 in 2009. This was mostly because of the event’s timing. Normally held in mid-April, this year Slow Fish had to move to the end of May because of a clash with the Euroflora event, and the beautiful weather over the weekend meant many members of the public had made other plans.
The visitors, however, were clearly informed about the issues and interested in learning more. Tickets for the guided tastings (Taste Workshops and Theater of Taste) sold out, and sales at the Sea Bookshop were double those of 2009. The educational tours organized by the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Slow Sushi and Personal Shopper, were also hugely popular. The exhibitors particularly appreciated the level of awareness among the visitors, and widespread media attention helped bring Slow Fish to an even wider audience.
The future of the Slow Fish was also discussed at the event. One idea was to bring all the most important international campaigns on the sea and responsible fish consumption together in one place. For this year, despite the difficulties, the organizers were happy with their communication of the event’s main message: “Eat fish responsibly.” See you in 2013!
For more information on the Slow Fish event, visit the website: www.slowfish.it
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