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Slow Fish Manifesto

Slow Fish Manifesto

Slow Fish is aiming to bring some clarity to the issues surrounding fish and fishing. Though we don’t claim to have all the answers, the movement is committed to finding them! In an environment where it is increasingly difficult to know what you’re eating and to consume responsibly, Slow Food asks that you think and engage with your food. Be inspired…

Fishing for a Slow Fish Manifesto

Written by John Wedgwood Clarke, creative writing lecturer at The University of Hull

1. Savour and sustain: each mouthful of story and flavour, tasted to its source, helps the life of the harbour continue.

2. No fish is worthless, only the system that casts it aside.

3. The technical experts don’t work in the labs; they haul knowledge in with their hands.

4. Why should we grant you our fish to damage? Allocate quota according to care.

5. A harbour without a boat – a hearth without a flame.

6. We harvest and hunt not quota but knowledge: take too much and we render ourselves stupid.

7. Slow fishers of the world crew together! Let no one labour alone who knows the true value of their catch.

8. The fish’s eye sees through all lies.

9. Growth ring on fish scales, the fisher’s brief thumbprint on fish flesh – one without the other is a half-hearted story.

10. Co-management: your fish on my plate at our price, not the sea’s expense.

11. Questions equal quality – the more we ask, the more value grows in the hold of the boat and the mouth.

12. Your plate is the world: explore the wild territories of the catch!

13. Listen to those who daily listen to the sea – its whispers of distress, its songs of harvest – shout what they say to the paper world.

14. Match the market to the catch, not the catch to the market.

15. Authenticity in the mouth! Taste the truthfulness of strange utterances: rigor mortis, red gills, the moment caught in the sea’s clear eye.

16. Study the dictionary of fish; learn the mother tongues of the sea; sing the poem of the fish on your plate.

17. Ask the Slow Fish whence it came, and the sea enters the room in the names of boats, in the word of the fisher, in the dream of an ecosystem.

18. Catch policy in the nets; don’t glimpse it like a tourist out for a day trip in a boat.

19. Not a plate of fish, but a dish of tides, grounds, nets and hooks – all that was not caught, sweetening the flavour.

20. Wake the life of the fish on ice: face up to the strange and local shapes of the sea – be changed!


We are planning some Slow Food Exhibitions in 2014 in various locations in the UK. If anyone is interested to get involved do please get in touch – we need you! We are looking for fishermen and woman  and their families to tell their stories and inspire a whole new generation of fishers, academics / scientists to discuss the ecology of the sea, chefs, restaurateurs and fishmongers to showcase some of the unknown and tasty fish we have in our UK waters, artists and musicians to help narrate the story.

For more information on the Slow Fish campaign please visit here.


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