Slow fact finding mission on river Fal
working on the historic River Fal oyster fishery met representatives
of the Slow Food movement this week as part of a fact finding
mission to learn why this historic and traditional fishery
needs to be preserved.
Fiona Richmond, executive director of the recently set up
Slow Food UK, and Silvia Monasterolo, Slow Food's European
praesidium and Terre Madre co-ordinator, spent a day gaining
a first-hand insight into how the oysters are harvested by
traditional oyster sailing boats.
After spending some time on the water fishing with Tim Vinnicombe,
whose family have worked these oyster beds for five generations,
they were taken up the river by oyster bailiff Paul Ferris
to watch the other harvesting method, using haul-tow punts,
at Turnaware Bar.
Clare Leverton, who runs the Port of Truro Oyster Fishery
Management Group on behalf of the fishermen, said the visit
would help to raise awareness of the issues affecting the
fishery and the importance of this unique product. "A
partnership with Slow Food will raise the international profile
of the wonderful oysters caught using traditional sailing
and rowing boats," she said. "The fishermen
wasted no time in showing Fiona and Silvia some of the issues
facing the fishery, such as the slipper limpet which is a
pest affecting the oysters and needs to be eradicated."
Fishing was followed by a visit to oyster merchants Falmouth
Bay Oysters, where the visitors saw the special care taken
to prepare and present this top quality delicacy for customers
across England and Europe.
Fiona Richmond said: "The Fal oyster is an exceptional
product in terms of its taste, quality, and environmentally
sound methods of production, history and traditional links
with local culture. This is exactly the type of product the
Slow Food movement would like to protect and support, and
we look forward to working with all the stakeholders to learn
more and take this forward."
The Slow Food delegates also later met representatives of
Seafood Cornwall, Taste of the West, the Cornwall Slow Food
convivium and South West Pesca at Kevin Viner's restaurant,
Viners at Summercourt, to discuss links between Cornwall's
traditional foods and the development of the Slow Food movement
For further information please contact Clare Leverton on
01872 270333 or email: email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in Fal Oysters and Seafood Cornwall
through the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG).
In addition the Programme has invested in Taste of the West
through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund
||Slow Food is an international movement set up to protect
and promote traditional foods and encourage the development
of local food cultures. For more details see www.slowfood.com
||The Slow Food visit to Cornwall took place on Tuesday
January 17 and Wednesday January 18.
||The Cornish Slow Food Convivium is led by Bob Lindo
of Camel Valley vineyard. For more information see www.slowfoodcornwall.com
||The traditional Fal oyster beds have been growing oysters
since Roman times. It is the only oyster fishery in Britain
where the oysters are harvested without any use of motive
power, using either sailing boats or haul-tow punts. The
fishery is regulated by the maritime department of Carrick
District Council. Contact Clare Leverton, 01872 270333
or the harbourmaster, Andy Brigden, 01872 272130 for more
||The Port of Truro oyster fishery management group is
managed by SW Pesca on behalf of the oyster fishermen.
||Pictures show Slow Food delegation members on board
Tim Vinnicombe's boat, Boy Willie on the River Fal.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
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Telephone: 01872 223439