Did you know that there are around 25,000 species of fish? Very few are poisonous, hence non edible. It is impossible to identify all edible species but there are thousands of them, 500 of which are listed for the Mediterranean alone. Yet in almost every country, only 20 or fewer are commonly eaten.
We need to find out more about neglected species and discover their gastronomic value. Often they may be harder to identify or prepare, but equally or more delicious than their better-known, overfished cousins.
They also give us the satisfaction of supporting responsible fishing. As demand is low, currently the majority of little-known species are thrown back in the water or sold at very low prices. More often than not these fish are very tasty, but the market does not consider them valuable.
The market controls the fishing industry. And we are the market!
Do it for your health. Small fish eaten with the bones are an excellent source of calcium.
Slow Food has decided not to provide a list of underused and neglected species, because they vary from sea to sea and because if one were to become suddenly popular, thanks to being placed on the pedestal of sustainability, this would only move the problem without resolving it.
Instead, ask your fishmonger or someone from an older generation to help you discover or rediscover interesting local species.