Masifundise researcher Leila Emdon and Coastal Links South Africa member Rowina Marthinus returned this week from a major conference in Italy.

Terra Madre, a global project created by Slow Food, was attended by thousands in the City of Turin.

Slow Food aims to form networks between all the links in the food production chain, with food communities at the centre.

According to Slow Food, the hope of the project is to identify and promote a new system for food production and distribution, more respectful of people, the land and the sea. []

As part of the Slow Fish component of Slow Food, a number of representatives from the small-scale fisheries sector took part in discussions and workshops. Ocean Grabbing or Privatisation of the sea, Aquaculture, Protection of Marine Resources and the International Guidelines for Sustaining Small-Scale Fisheries were discussed.

“What was interesting to me was learning about how ocean grabbing and privatisation is impacting fishing communities in Europe, British Columbia, Canada, the US, the UK and Ireland. I was under the impression that small-scale fishers in the developed world were protected, but the opposite is actually true,” commented Leila.

Rowina said that the conference contributed to her knowledge of how other small-scale fishers learn to survive and find ways of rising above obstacles facing many small-scale fishing communities. “It is true that we are all connected in some way and to be able to fight the inequalities that are facing us, we have to come together, share knowledge and discuss possible solutions,” she said.

The five day gathering was attended by government, academics, fishers, youth and activists.

To read more about the Terra Madre you can follow the links provided,

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