It’s one festival you have to catch.

The Slow Fish Festival is coming to Spotswood, hosted by Slow Food Melbourne – part of an eco-gastronomy movement interested in the politics of food founded in Italy in 1986.

President Alison Peake said the movement started from some left-wing journalists protesting against the opening of Italy’s first McDonald’s.

“They sat on the Spanish Steps in Rome and ate bowls of pasta in protest,” she said.

“They could see how the whole commodification of fast food was going to destroy a lot of food traditions. We really want to harness consumers as a force for good
and get them to understand that we are losing all of our seafood traditions and our fishermen.”

The Andrews government has legislated to end commercial net fishing in Port Phillip Bay by April 2022, with licence-holders offered compensation.

Speaking at the festival will be Williamstown’s Phil McAdam, who is the third generation of his family to work as a commercial fisherman in the bay – a livelihood now under threat.

“I got a business that I built up over 30 years and arrogant Andrews reckons he can come in and flash a bit of money in front of your face and you’re gonna … take it – well, not this little black duck,” Mr McAdam said.

“Even the people that wanted the commercials out of the bay, want the bait fishermen to stay – that’s what we do.”

The festival will include cooking demonstrations, educative talks, a seafood market and stalls. It’s on April 15 from 10am-4pm at the Spotswood-Kingsville RSL and grounds, 16 Mary Street, Spotswood.

Entry is gold coin donation with a nominal fee for some cooking demonstrations and talks.