“Anutosh Penny Cusack had a simple mission – find a restaurant that sold fish caught from fishers based in her home city, Auckland. She wound up with an empty plate.” RNZ Morning Report, Oct 22nd 2020

New Zealand’s first Slow Fish discussion was held at the Eat New Zealand Food Hui 2020. “Presenting empty plates instead of local fish and a plea to support our endangered independent fishers. It was clear that social licence can only happen when we have access to our own fish in our communities, when we’re given the opportunity to #KnowYourFisher.” The event was part of the official programme for Terra Madre 2020 and livestreamed.

An plate of local fish caught in Auckland by a local artisanal fisher

Empty plate

 Talking and doing

Slow Fish New Zealand is about celebrating and getting to know your fisher and supporting responsible, artisanal fishing communities. As the people who eat our fish, we need to know the good news  stories and the significant challenges that come with fishing in New Zealand. Then we can advocate for the fishers, the fish and our waters.  Nate Smith from Gravity Fishing, Troy Bramley from Tora Collective shared their visions of affordable local seafood for local people – and the challenges that come with fishing sustainably and making a living. We need to create the space and infrastructure to grow our artisanal fishers. Jim Woods from Beauline spoke to a future where bigger is not better and all fish can be caught sustainably – with a balance between affordable local and high value export, using technology to support sustainability.

Here are some of the things we can do right now – be curious and build your knowledge, check out the Best Fish Guide from Forest and Bird,  eat cheaper and less known varieties,  ask where your fish has come from and support the food business that support our artisanal fishers.

More Slow Fish

Last Wild Food

What is Slow Fish

Good Clean Fair

Fishermen sculpture. Petrozavodsk, Russia

We play an important role in starting to move from a society that consumes to a society that conserves.