Celebrating 2019 World Fisheries Day

Highlights from our World Fisheries Day event
'Towards Zero Waste in our Fisheries'

World Fisheries Day is celebrated each year to acknowledge the important contribution of millions of men and women whose work in the fisheries, along the value chain, has supplied global populations with food that is high in nutritional value. It is also an opportunity to discuss issues related to fisheries sustainability, especially from the perspective of people whose livelihoods depend on them. [R. Chuenpagdee]*

This November, Too Big To Ignore, the Ocean Frontier Institute and the On The Move Partnership joined forces in celebrating World Fisheries Day and hosted a public event focused on reducing waste. The goal of the event was to raise awareness and promote full utilization of both natural and human resources towards fisheries sustainability, gender equality and food security. Staying true to the spirit of World Fisheries Day, the event emphasizes the value of fisheries, in particular small-scale fisheries, to the economic, environmental, and social well-being of our province.

The event was also an opportunity to showcase aquatic-related research and feature local initiatives and organizations that work towards creating progressive and sustainable practices for our ocean and fisheries. Among those who participated were the Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science; the Oceans Learning Partnership; World Wildlife Fund Canada; the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society; Fish Food & Allied Workers Union; N.L. fish harvesting associations; Fishing for Success; Food First NL; and the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The panel

Gender and other forms of inequality limit our access to talent, insight and creativity – all essential to addressing the challenges of achieving sustainable fisheries in the context of changing oceans, markets, technologies and labour forces. [B. Neis]*

The second part of the event was reserved for a panel that encouraged conversation and discussion about zero waste in Newfoundland and Labrador’s fisheries from the standpoint of women involved in diverse aspects of fisheries. The  five panelists shared their reflections on how to minimize fish waste through fuller utilization of fish and the waste of human resources and creativity. By reflecting on their own experiences, panelists highlighted some of the key factors that can either foster or constrain ‘achieving zero waste in our fisheries’ and discussed ways to ensure that a diverse array of stakeholders contribute their full potential as part of fisheries-related organizations and in fisheries employment towards more sustainable fisheries.


Moderator: Barbara Neis
OFI module I Co-lead, On the Move Partnership project Director and Honorary Research Professor, Memorial University 

Kimberly Orren by Megan Meadus

Kimberly Orren
Co-founder/Board Member, Fishing for Success

Jane Adey

Jane Adey
Host, The Broadcast


Doretta Strickland
Industrial, Retail and Offshore Vice-President, FFAW


Joanne Smyth   
Regional Director of Policy and Economic Analysis, Newfoundland and Labrador Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Brenda Grzetic
Senior Women's Economic Policy Analyst, St John’s Status of Women Council

Have you ever eaten deep fried capelin bones? And how about chips made of cod skin?

Four contestants competed in the '100% Fish Recipe Contest', giving audience a chance to taste a wide variety  of dishes and cast their vote for their favourite one. The contest was a way to not only enjoy fish dishes but also encourage a conversation about the value of fish for food security and nutrition. The '100% Fish Recipe Contest' derives from the TBTI ‘Great Fish for a Change’ and ‘Great Fish Recipe Challenge’ initiatives.

The '100% Fish Recipe contestants included Yinji Li (Visiting Professor from Tokai University in Japan), Worakanok Tanyamanta (Research associate at Memorial University), Adam Grevatt (Executive Chef from Blue on Water) and Bruno Gomes (professional chef).

The audience voted Yinji's dish 'deep fried capelin bones' as the best one. To show what a full utilization of fish tastes like, Yinji took inspiration from Japan, where it is a quite common practice to eat the whole fish, including the bones. While the capelin bones were deep fried (twice, to get that unmistakable crunchiness!), the meat from the fish was made into a spicy, mayo-based pate.

During the impromptu interview she gave for the Broadcast, a local radio show, Yinji explained that in Japan, those visiting small guest houses in fishing communities, will first be served a sushimi fish, arranged in the original shape of the fish. After they have finished the dish, the bones will be taken back to the kitchen, deep fried and served to the same guest - completing a full circle. You can hear her entire interview on the CBC website. The show also features a short interview with Jasmine Paul, who attended the event as part of the Fishing for Success team. Jasmine spoke about the under-utilization of the cod fish and described the dish she prepared for this occasion: fried britches, made out of the cod fish roe.

*All quotes are from the article in Gazette (Nov 2019), the  official newspaper of Memorial University of Newfoundland. The full article is available HERE.