The Presidia and Food Communities at Slow Fish 2011 – Genoa (Italy) from May 27 to 30

The Slow Food Presidia and Terra Madre food communities will make a special contribution to Slow Fish 2011, bringing the public’s attention to biodiversity-preservation projects that help protect a particular aquatic species or preserve a traditional fish processing technique.
Fishers and producers from Chile, Mauritania, Norway and the Netherlands will be representing the international Presidia set up by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.

The real stars of this year’s Slow Fish are the fishers who choose to respect their local ecosystem as they go about their daily work. Representatives from Terra Madre food communities will be bringing stories of men and women involved in fishing from every corner of the world, participating in conferences and workshops and contributing to an invaluable exchange of knowledge.

From Piedmont in the north to Sicily in the south, the Italian Presidia demonstrate the incredible wealth of biodiversity in the peninsula’s seas, lakes and rivers, like Menaica anchovies and Roman coastline tellina clams from the Mediterranean or Ceresole tench and Corno alle Scale char from inland waters. Attention is focused not just on at-risk or under-appreciated fish species, but also traditional knowledge about their processing. Orbetello Bottarga and Traditional Marinated Comacchio Valleys Eel are two examples of Presidia protecting skills that have been handed down from generation to generation. The Italian Presidia are identified by the “Presidio Slow Food®” logo. Only these products are genuinely part of the project (

The International Presidia

Robinson Crusoe Island Seafood – Chile

From Santiago it takes two and a half hours by plane, an hour by boat and half an hour on foot to reach the single tiny village on the island of Robinson Crusoe in the Juan Fernández archipelago. The island’s geography and isolation have preserved its biodiversity and its surrounding waters teem with many species of fish and shellfish, like lobster and red crabs. This makes the area particularly important for the study of fishing and the centuries-old traditions still practiced by the island’s families. Almost all the families include many generations of fishermen.

Slow Food has been working here since 2005 with the aim of supporting the fishermen by setting up a processing workshop and a retail outlet, with the support of the Lighthouse Foundation. The February 2010 earthquake and tsunami caused serious problems for the fishing community and Slow Food is currently helping them to repair the damage and restart their activities.

Representing the Presidium fishermen, Marcelo Rossi, Presidente Sindicato de Pescadores del Archipiélago Juan Fernández (Stipa), will be hosted by the Alliance Osteria for an event dedicated to the Presidia and food communities.
Production area: Robinson Crusoe and Alejandro Selkirk islands, Juan Fernández archipelago.

Imraguen Women’s Mullet Bottarga – Mauritania

The Imraguen are nomadic fishers who follow the movements of large shoals of golden mullet and umbrine along the Banc d’Arguin, a national park off Mauritania’s northern coast. While the men fish, the women produce bottarga (cured mullet roe). The Presidium has brought them together in a cooperative, overseen by Mauritanie 2000, a local NGO. Their work is made difficult by the temporary nature of their facilities and their low earnings. Slow Food, in collaboration with the Orbetello Bottarga Presidium, is trying to help the Imraguen women improve production quality and find alternative commercial channels.

Production area: Banc d’Arguin villages, Nouadhibou and Nouhachkott
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space.

Oosterschelde Lobster – Netherlands

Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt) is a deep bay of the North Sea along the Zeeland coast. The lobsters of the same name, also known as Zeeland lobsters, are caught using a conical net called a fulken. The fishermen throw small lobsters and females with eggs back in the water. Lobsters that are at least 24 centimeters long are kept in containers full of seawater and sold very fresh. In collaboration with the Presidium, the Oosterschelde Lobster Foundation is bringing together fishermen and volunteers to preserve fishing activities among the local communities. Restaurants in the area are also involved in the project, helping to promote the use of local fish and avoid the purchase of imported seafood.
Production area: Oosterschelde, Zeeland
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space and will be involved in The Five Nations of Oysters Taste Workshop on Saturday May 28 at 3 pm.

Sunnmøre Cured and Smoked Herring – Norway

The Norwegians adopted the techniques for producing three different types of smoked herring from the British. After a boom period between the end of the Second World War and the late 1960s, the 35 companies in the region who smoked herring were forced to close, leading to an almost total disappearance of herring from the Norwegian diet. In Naeroy, along the fjords of Norway’s northwest coast, Njardar is the only business that has preserved the traditional salting and smoking techniques. The Presidium wants to raise awareness of this product among consumers, reviving the production techniques at risk of extinction and keeping alive an example of sustainable small-scale fishing.
Production area: Møre og Romsdal county, Sunnmøre region
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space.

Møre og Romsdal Salted Cod – Norway 

In a few places in Kristiansund and along Norway’s western coasts, salted cod is still produced following traditional techniques. Small-scale producers process the skrei (cod from North Atlantic waters) while the fishermen take small boats out from January to April and catch the fish using sustainable methods. The Presidium was launched to safeguard the artisanal production of salted cod made only from skrei caught using traditional methods, which preserve the quality of the fish and considerably reduce the amount of bycatch.
Production area: Kristiansund, Møre og Romsdal county, Sunnmøre region
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space.

The Terra Madre Network – Food Communities

Wadden Sea Fishers – Netherlands

The Wadden Sea is a shallow strip of water the runs along the coasts of Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. Approximately 75 percent of the surface is dry at low tide, which encourages the arrival of many birds who come to overwinter and reproduce here. The community includes fishers of shrimp, mullet, bass, eels and crabs, and is working to maintain the fishing reserves and traditional processing techniques such as smoking and drying. This results in quality products that belong to the local heritage.
Production area: Wadden Sea, Friesland
The food community will be involved in the Terra Madre Food Communities from the Waddenzee Taste Workshop on Saturday May 28 at 1 pm.

White Sea Artisan Fishers – Russia

Historically fishing along the shores of the White Sea was organized by tonjas groups who had the rights to small-scale fishing in this area. During the Soviet period the customs of the tonjas almost died out, but in the village of Chupa a community of artisan fishers has managed to revive the traditional fishing of local cod. In this region the main challenge, apart from the harsh climate, is developing opportunities for the local people to make a living from the area’s rich natural resources.
Production area: Chupa village, Karelia
The community is participating in Slow Fish thanks to the support of the Lighthouse Foundation.

Mpaaji Ni Mungu Fish Processors – Kenya

The Mpaaji Ni Mungu community is made up of 18 women whose main activity is processing fish using traditional techniques. The women buy locally caught fish then salt it and bury it in sacks for a fortnight. The fish is then dried in the sun. During the cold season, the fish is smoked over mangrove wood and coconut husks, giving it a unique flavor. After processing, the fish is sold on the local market. The community currently has 40 members and with the support of Slow Food it is hoping to develop a processing and packaging system.
Production area: Gazi and Shimoni, Kwale district, Coast province
The community is participating in Slow Fish thanks to the support of the Lighthouse Foundation.

The Terra Madre Network – Local Experts and Associations

Haidar El Ali – Senegal

The president of Océanium, an environmental protection association, Haidar El Ali is one of the world’s most active ecologists. A Senegal native of Lebanese origin, he also chairs the federation of West African green parties and has helped create marine protected areas run by the local people in Bamboung in the Saloum Delta and other parts of Senegal. Haidar, who has long encouraged fishermen to respect the sea and make proper use of natural resources, will be participating in the Water Workshops.

Slow Food Istanbul – Turkey

Istanbul is home to a great cultural legacy linked to the sea and its foods. Defne Koryürek, founder of the Slow Food Istanbul convivium, has launched a campaign to protect the bluefish, also known as the “sultan of fish,” a traditional culinary favorite. Since 2002, the bluefish has been at risk because of pollution and changes to local fishing laws. Through a petition and a campaign involving fishermen and restaurants in the city, including raising awareness among local institutions, Slow Food Istanbul hopes to resolve the problem. Koryürek and representatives from the Istanbul fishing community will be bringing the story of their struggles to Slow Fish.

Italian Presidia participating in Slow Fish 2011:

Menaica Anchovies – Campania

Menaica anchovies are caught from April to July by a small fleet of no more than seven or eight boats, who catch only the biggest fish. As soon as they are caught, the anchovies are immediately washed in brine and arranged in terracotta jars. Despite the high quality of the final product, the market for the anchovies is very small. The Presidium was established to protect the traditions and gastronomic value of the anchovies, and to encourage fishing tourism activities.
Production area: Pisciotta and Pollica municipalities, Salerno province
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space and will be involved in theSnails and Presidia at Sea Taste Workshop on Friday May 27 at 4 pm.

Traditional Cetara Anchovy Extract – Campania

Cetara’s gastronomic traditions include the production of an anchovy extract called colatura, an amber liquid obtained from aging salted anchovies. The strongly flavored extract is used as a condiment in vegetable and fish dishes, often replacing salt. The Presidium has drawn up a strict production protocol that sets out the classic method of producing colatura.
Production area: Cetara municipality, Salerno province
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space.

Traditional Marinated Comacchio Valleys Eel – Emilia-Romagna

Enclosed by the Po and Reno rivers and the Adriatic Sea, the Comacchio valleys are an example of integration between the natural environment and human activity. Eels reproduce in the Sargasso Sea, then swim to inland waters to finish their life cycle. Facilities for marinating the eels have existed here for centuries, particularly in Comacchio. The Emilia-Romagna Po Delta Park, in collaboration with the Comacchio Municipality, has completed the restoration of the historic Fire Room in the Manifattura dei Marinati and is now processing eels using authentically traditional techniques.
Production area: Comacchio valleys, Po Delta Park, Ferrara and Ravenna provinces
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space and will be involved in The Slowness of the Eel Taste Workshop on Friday May 27 at 7 pm.

Corno alle Scale Char – Emilia-Romagna

Corno alle Scale is a small nature reserve in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines which includes the municipality of Lizzano in Belvedere, not far from Bologna, where char is farmed in a historic facility run by a group of volunteers. The fish was imported here from America at the end of the 19th century. The Presidium promotes the fish in restaurants and is planning the restoration of the 100-year-old fish farm, adding an educational center and a tasting room.
Production area: Lizzano in Belvedere municipality, Bologna province
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space.

Tuscia Lakes Eel – Lazio

The traditional techniques for eel fishing in the Bolsena and Bracciano lakes have been used for centuries. Every year between September and October, large traps called altavelli are placed in the water to catch the eels. The Presidium involves the local fishing cooperatives and aims to limit fishing to argentine, eels that have reached sexual maturity, so as to respect their natural life cycles.
Production area: Lake Bolsena (Viterbo province) and Lake Bracciano (Rome province)
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space and will be involved in The Slowness of the Eel Taste Workshop on Friday May 27 at 7 pm.

Roman Coastline Tellina – Lazio

The stretch of coastline from Passoscuro to Anzo has been known since Ancient Roman times for the quality and fineness of its sand, making it easy to harvest the small tellina clams. Sweeter and more delicate than other mollusks, they are a symbol of the local cuisine, commonly served on bruschetta. They are caught using rakes, dragged from boats or by hand, which are made artisanally by the fishermen themselves. The Presidium brings together the members of cooperatives who are working to safeguard the local environment, which has suffered greatly from urbanization and pollution.
Production area: Roman coastline from Passoscuro to Anzio, Rome province
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space and will be involved in theSnails and Presidia at Sea Taste Workshop on Friday May 27 at 4 pm.

Portonovo Wild Mussels – Marche

In local dialect the name mosciolo refers to a wild mussel that lives among the submerged rocks along the Conero coast. The catching of these mussels had been almost completely abandoned because of competition from farmed shellfish. The Presidium fishermen are working on guaranteeing traceability along the entire wild mussel distribution chain.
Production area: The stretch of coast between Pietralacroce and the border between Sirolo and Numana, with the bay of Portonovo in the middle (Ancona province).
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space and will be involved in theMoreno Cedroni: Homage to Portonovo Theater of Taste event on Monday May 30 at 4 pm.

Ceresole Tench – Piedmont 

Ceresole tench are related to carp, barbel, chub and bleak and are distinguished by their humped shape and golden color¬— in fact the fish is sometimes called gobba dorata, “golden humpback.” Tench have been farmed in man-made ponds between Poirino and Ceresole since the 13th century. The Presidium is working with the University of Turin’s Zootechnical Sciences Department to help farmers draw up a protocol for the fish farms.
Production area: Ceresole d’Alba municipality, Cuneo province
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space.

Salina Capers – Sicily

The caper bushes on the island of Salina form an integral part of the landscape, and until the arrival of tourism they were crucial to the island’s economy. The caper buds are still picked by hand from May to August and the plants still grow haphazardly around the island, but labor is costly and competition from cheaper African capers is sending the historic industry into a crisis. Promotion activities organized by the Presidium are helping revitalize the product and the area.
Production area: Salina island, Messina province
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space.

Orbetello Bottarga – Tuscany

The art of preserving fish was probably introduced to Orbetello by the Spanish, who were smoking the eels and marinating fish in vinegary escabece back in the 16th century. Currently over 60 local fishermen are joined together in a cooperative. They have a workshop for processing fish and run a store and a fish market. They produce bottarga (cured mullet roe) and smoked mullet fillets and eels. In the evening they run a small restaurant on the lagoon where they serve locally caught fish cooked in classic Orbetello style. The Presidium promotes their products and helps keep the lagoon habitat healthy.
Production area: Orbetello lagoon, Grosseto province
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space.

Tuscan Sea Palamita – Tuscany

A member of the mackerel and tuna family, palamita (Atlantic bonito) is fished from late spring to early summer. The fishing zone covers the whole Tuscan archipelago, but is concentrated at Capo Enfola, near Portoferraio. Wide-meshed nets known as palamitare were once left for long periods in the sea to catch the fish, but now large fishing boats are more commonly used, making the palamita another victim of overexploitation of marine resources. The Presidium is encouraging the revival of small-scale fishing and promoting the use of this high-quality and nutritious fish in restaurants.
Production area: The waters around the Tuscan archipelago, Grosseto and Livorno provinces
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space.

Moleche – Veneto

In the Venetian lagoon small green crabs are the focus of a unique activity in Italy, halfway between fishing and extensive farming. The crabs are called moleche during their molting stage, when they lose their hard shell and become soft and tender. This takes place from April to May and from October to November. Around 40 fishermen are joined together in the historic Burano cooperative. After a crisis in the 1980s the sector seems to be recovering, though it is still threatened by pollution and the competing clam harvest.
Production area: Venetian lagoon
The Presidium will be represented in the Market space and will be involved in the Snails and Presidia at Sea Taste Workshop on Friday May 27 at 4 pm.



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