TBTI celebrated World Fisheries Day, November 21, 2015

 2015 World Fisheries Day


World Fisheries Day from Too Big To Ignore project on Vimeo.


On November 21, TBTI celebrated the World Fisheries Day, with a family and community event that was held at St. Kevin’s Parish Hall, Goulds, Canada. The event was organized to promote learning about marine resources, showcase small-scale fisheries and promote local sea food in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

In the first part of the event, TBTI, its members, partners and friends set up interactive information booths to present the work they do in connection to our fisheries and oceans. Volunteers at these booths shared their knowledge and love of fisheries and the ocean with information pamphlets, displays of fishing gear, and fun activities that encouraged audience members to learn more about the marine resources and small-scale fisheries in the province.



An important goal of the event was to engage children in learning about the ocean and fisheries. Undergraduate students from geography, all part of the ‘World Fisheries MUN GEOG 4300’ class, designed a special corner for children activities, where our younger audience had a chance to create a healthy ocean. Children were able to ‘fish’ a fish drawing, colour it and post in on the poster wall together with the rest of fish drawings.

During this time, we also displayed a number of drawings from 4th3 and 5th grade students from the Stephenville Elementary, who were asked to express through their art what ‘Great Fish for a Change’ means to them. Their beautiful, colorful and insightful drawings were also used as a placemats during the “Great Fish for a Change’ event in Stephneville, Canada, earlier this fall.

52Graduate class 'Sustainable Fisheries NL', MUN GEOG 6250 conducted a quick participatory mapping by inviting people to point on the map the places where they can buy local fish. The class also showed a short animation video, narrated by MSc student Natalie Richards that talks about the sustainability and fisheries. The video focuses on the importance of buying local fish to support livelihoods of small-boat communities as well as on sustainability and conservation of the marine environment.

In the afternoon the event focused on the ‘Great Fish for a Change’, a global initiative developed through TBTI as a way to raise awareness about the value of fish for food security and nutrition, as well as their significance for the local food systems. TBTI took this opportunity to showcase each of this year’s four ‘Great ‘Great Fish for a Change’ community events that took place in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. This was done through videos, photo slideshows and short interviews with key community partners. Jason Sullivan, a small-scale fisher form Bay Bulls and a continuous supporter of TBTI, spoke briefly about Newfoundland's small-boat fishery, and why it’s crucial to not only preserve the tradition of fishing, but to ensure its viability for the future.

29As promised, a large part of the event was focused on ‘fish-as-food’: the role of fish for food security and their significance for the local food systems. Our goal was to promote small-pelagic fish as part of a healthy diet and encourage people to think of different ways to prepare fish, including ‘traditional’ fish such as cod. Andre Aucoin, a young chef who introduced us to a capelin-on-a-stick at the Petty Harbour 'Great Fish for a Change’ event earlier this year, prepared two fish dishes: smoked mackerel pate and Mexican salt cod.12

The last part of the event included a ‘cook-off’ of the three best dishes selected through the ‘Great Fish Recipe Challenge', a contest for the best fish recipe based on the locally sourced fish in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Each of the three finalists presented hers or his fish dish, taking the audience through all steps of preparation and explaining what inspired them to be part of this recipe contest.


                                                                         The three finalists include:

Bonnie Bishop (MSc student at Memorial University)

                Curry crusted mackerel



Johnathan Shwartz (Chef at 'The Reluctant Chef')

                Caesar dressing using capelin



Mel Agapito (recent PhD from Memorial University)

                Mackerel in coconut milk


While all three dishes were delicious, in the end, Mel’s tasty mackerel in coconut milk was voted the best. Congratulations Mel!



We would like to thank all those who came to our event and supported our initiative. A special recognition goes to our partners and supporting organizations that made this event possible:

Fishing for Success
Food First NL
Geography Department (MUN)
Harris Centre
Marine Institute
Oceans Learning Partnership
Oceans Science Center
Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium
Shorefast Foundation
'Sustainable Fisheries NL', MUN GEOG 6250 class

'World Fisheries', MUN 4300 class


Until the next World Fisheries Day!