Here in New Orleans, food is often a focal point of our locale and culture. More specifically, we are known for fresh, delicious seafood harvested as close as 50 miles from Bourbon Street. On March 10th, 2016, for the first time ever, the biennial Slow Fish International gathering was held in North America, and I think attendees would agree that the Big Easy was the perfect place to meet.
Attendees met each day in a new venue that encompassed the spirit of New Orleans. We shared stories, taught each other about what we are doing in our communities to create a better environment for the consumers, fisherman, and fish alike.
Fisherman and chefs that were attending the conference provided meals for the group each afternoon and evening, which was a real treat.
I presented on Saturday, informing the group about Gulf Fish Forever, as well as the work we have done towards creating a sustainable and responsible fish harvest in the Gulf of Mexico - including our work implementing Greenstick, a more targeted and sustainable alternative to longline fishing.
It is important for us to continue to learn from past successes and failures, especially when regarding the continued amendments to the 40-year old Magnuson-Stevens Act.
Right now, we have the opportunity to take action improve sustainable fishery management. Join us and take action now to protect our precious fisheries!
Of course, we could not end the gathering without showing Slow Fish how we celebrate here in Louisiana. People trickled into Docville Farm starting at 6:30 AM, where Slow Fish got the chance to ‘meat’ Slow Food, with a traditional Cajun Boucherie provided by Toby Rodriguez and his crew at Lache Pas Boucherie et Cuisine. We also enjoyed fresh boiled seafood cooked by some incredible chefs, and provided by fisherman in attendance. Any Cajun will tell you, if you leave their house hungry, it is your fault!
The first ever North American Slow Fish meeting was a huge success thanks to both organizers and attendees. It is always refreshing to be a part of something with people who share a passion of sustainability and stewardship. I look forward to continuing to be involved with Slow Food and Slow Fish, and feel very fortunate to have been introduced to this amazing group of people.
Derek Breaux, is an intern on the Gulf Fish Forever Campaign and senior at University of New Orleans in Earth and Environmental Science.