This installment of “Food Voices” ruminates on the lost connection with fish as food and how to reinstate an appreciation for fishing as a way of life.
WhyHunger is pleased to be partnering with Andrianna Natsoulas, longtime food sovereignty activist and author of the forthcoming book Food Voices: Stories of the Food Sovereignty Movement. In 2010, Andrianna began a journey across the Americas to capture the stories of people working towards and living a just and sustainable food system. As she continues her journey, spanning from Nova Scotia to Ecuador to Brazil and beyond, we will feature highlights of the stories she gathers.
Padi Anderson: The Joy of Sharing Fish
Padi Anderson has been involved with the fishing industry of New Hampshire for over forty years. She and her husband, Mike, own and operate the F/V Rimrack out of Rye Harbor. They catch groundfish, tuna, squid and shrimp. Padi is initiating new local markets for the fish off their boat and is reconnecting her community with fish as food.
“The first place to begin is that disconnect between fish being food. Consumers have lost that connection, the public has lost that connection, the government has lost it, and the fishermen have lost it. Originally, fishermen would go fishing because it is a way of life. It is cultural. It is an experience. The regulatory changes have been a big challenge because we are not able to just take fish off a boat and sell it. It is illegal. But we could easily do so twenty years ago. We gave fish away to our neighbors, to friends, to tourists or we would sell it and there was that connection and interaction with education, knowledge, conversation. It was a joy. It was a gift. It was that sharing with people who valued and appreciated what we did and the fishermen loved that connection. And now due to regulatory compliance, that has become a real challenge.
“The other part here in New Hampshire, and I suspect in some other areas too, is that the infrastructure is not supportive of connecting our fish locally. Again, I think a lot of our policymakers are missing that piece that fish is food. They may feel their responsibilities or their tasks are regulatory. It is important to keep in mind how it affects local communities — socially, economically and ecologically.”