“Great Fish for a Change” initiative

What is 'Great Fish for a Change'?

'Great Fish for a Change' is an initiate developed through the Too Big To Ignore project as a way to facilitate much-needed discussions about the value of fish for food security and nutrition, as well about their significance for the local food systems. As part of the initiative, we are organizing a series of community-based events in small outport communities across the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

During these events, community members will be invited to enjoy an evening of fish and seafood meal and will be encouraged to share stories and exchange signature fish recipes. They will be able to learn more about the role of healthy diet that fish can play and the non-traditional ways of preparing fish. Participants will also be invited to discuss issues and concerns facing their communities, and explore ideas and options for the future. The event offers an opportunity for dialogue and experience sharing about food security and a fisheries way of life, as well as a chance to talk about community health and wellbeing, using local fish dishes as a connecting point.

A contest for a best fish recipe titled 'Great Fish Recipe Challenge' is also part of this initiative. Visit  Great Fish Recipe Challenge to find out more about the contest and to learn how to participate.

Why this initiative?

In Canada, and worldwide, not enough attention has been given to the important role of fish for food security and their significance for the local food systems. Food security is recognized as a serious concern in Newfoundland and Labrador; the remoteness of the island and rural communities creates food access and availability issues [1]. In addition, the fisheries are export-oriented and until recently, provincial legislation prohibited the direct sale of fish by harvesters to consumers. For more information about this issue, see a recent article in the Globe and Mail written by Roderick Sloan.

All the “Great Fish for a Change” events will be documented through photos and essays in the “Great Fish for A Change: The Newfoundland Stories” book. The expected outcomes would be an identification of opportunities and obstacles for food security and nutrition in the province, which would in turn lead towards a better integration of fish into future regional and national discussions about policies on fisheries sustainability.

This initiative is part of the TBTI 'Fish as Food' research cluster. For more information about this cluster, visit: Fish as Food.

How to participate?

You can come to one of our events and join the conversation about the value of fish for food security over a delicious fish meal. If you have a favourite fish dish, especially one base on small pelagic fish, be sure to participate in the Great Fish Recipe ChallengeYou can also organize a  “Great Fish for a Change” event in your community! If you are interested in organizing such an event, send us an email to toobigtoignore@mun.ca. We would love to work with you!


Great Fish for a Change NL will take place in the following communities:

Petty Harbour - Maddox Cove (August 22)

Monkstown (September 5)

Port Union (September 29)

Stephenville (October 8)



[1] Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador. (2014). What is Food Security? Retrieved from http://www.foodsecuritynews.com/about-food-security.htm

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