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Slow Fish is a significant part of the global Slow Food movement which has presence in 160 countries around the world. Slow Fish celebrates responsible artisanal fishing communities. As such it's a perfect fit for our Eat New Zealand #KnowYourFisher campaign. Despite being a South Pacific island nation with an exclusive economic zone fifteen times larger than our land area, our fishers have largely become invisible to our eaters, leading to disconnection and problems of social licence. What if, instead, we celebrated these amazing men & women and their incredible bravery to pull our food out of the ocean? How can we support them reconnecting to their communities as a way of telling the unique story of New Zealand kaimoana to our own people & to the world? This month our Kaitaki Collective have been tasked with finding a myriad of ways to celebrate the people who catch our fish.
We hope you enjoy the stories they have gathered...
Upstream from Slow Fish - By Liv Worsnop
The call of Slow Fish has been “know your fisher”. In imagining this scenario, I picture myself waiting on the banks and beaches for the catch of the day. I’ve foraged a salad, am stoking a fire and surrounded by friends. Yet I don’t eat on the banks or beaches. I eat at home, or at a restaurant and I have no idea how food such as fish has arrived on my plate. I still don’t know. Rather, I have gotten curious about the banks and beaches upon which I wish to wait.
The banks and beaches are the threshold a fisher crosses to gather from the waters. Upstream from the abundant waters of Aotearoa dictate downstream health. The hauora of these spaces is influenced by primary industry such as farming and forestry, and also by the cultural relationships we have with these ecosystems.
I wonder if gardening marginal and public land in a conscientious way could curate a culture of spending time with and care-taking our land? Would diversifying and valuing these ecosystems lead to an environment where we can know our fisher? Whilst also solidifying our connection to plants, waters and our fellow people?
Words by Liv Worsnop - Gardener and Environmental Artist @plantgang
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