Slow Fish

Slow Fish is one of the main International Slow Food projects. It recognizes the threats to the sovereignty of not just our land, but also our oceans including:
  • Overfishing
  • Pirate Fishing
  • Selling Off of the Ocean
  • Destructive Fishing Practices and Bycatch
  • Aquaculture
  • Pollution
  • Climate Change
  • The Domino Effect
Read more about threats to our oceans at

On Vancouver Island, surrounded by an ocean full of a bounty of seafood, we are often unaware of how our decisions about where our seafood comes from affects local and global food systems.

Click to listen to Dr. John Volpe, UVic & Slow Islands Convivium Leader Brooke Fader talk to Kathy McAree from In Good Taste on CFAX 1070 radio talking about the importance of Slow Fish
In October 2013 we hosted an event as part of a Canada-wide Slow Fish month of activities to raise awareness about eating fish that is good, clean and fair. We were thankful to have the wisdom of the Best's from Cowichan Bay Seafood, Dr. John Volpe, Salty Andrew from Vancouver Island Salt and Chef Oliver Kienast from Wild Mountain in our Slow Fish network and informing and feeding us at the event!
Brined Humpback Shrimp, sea asparagus, 
dulse cracker, miners lettuce, shrimp floss
Humpback shrimp are large shrimp caught alongside Spot Prawns, usually as a bycatch. They spawn in the late fall, and the females keep the eggs under their tails until the spring. The newly hatched eggs are all born male, turning into females after two years in order to mate. You can purchase humpback shrimp at Cowichan Bay Seafood in the Victoria Public Market at the Hudson.    

Verjus Cured Scallop, verbena carrot sauce, 
chickweed, apple, sea lettuce
Qualicum bay scallops are a Canadian success story! Scallops on Vancouver Island are swimmers, and can be sustainable harvested using a technique called butterfly trawling that does not disturb the ocean floor like traditional trawlers. Look for products harvested by butterfly trawling methods to support more sustainable methods of harvesting seafood.

Salt lingcod brandade, sweet cicely aioli, 

pickled sunchoke, flowers, kelp
Ling "cod" have come back from being over-fished in the past and are now harvested in the Straight of Georgia. Although they reproduce rapidly they are so critical to the ecosystem that their stock are only increasing slowly. These ling cod brandade balls were salted with Vancouver Island Salt Co. salt harvested at Cherry Point. Andrew's uses 99% recycled vegetable oil reclaimed from the restaurants that use his products to dehydrate his salt. This makes his company produces a net negative carbon emissions.
Mussels in mushroom and kelp broth

with Fol Epi bread
Much Vancouver Island shellfish is harvested via aquaculture in order to ensure that the demand does not far exceed the supply and wipe out our wild shellfish. Mussels are the subject of much scientific research. Their valve mechanism is the model for the commercial water pumps you can purchase at hardware stores, and the beards that attache to mussels have been studied to learn more about adhesives. 

A full transcription of information from the event was posted on our twitter and is available via Storify

At our Slow Fish series of events in the spring of 2012 we explored "shellfish & bivalves", "small fish & by-catch" and "sea things" including Seaweed, Sea Urchins, and Sea Asparagus. These events were a celebration of all things "merroir." Local food filmographers Feast BC were on site to capture the importance of being more educated about our local seafood. 

Slow Fish featuring The London Chef 
special thanks to Feast Media for the video

To find out more about making sustainable decisions for Canadian seafood, visit