The main objective of Fishing Transformations (Pescando Transformaciones, in Spanish) is to catalyze transformative changes in Uruguayan small-scale fisheries based on a transdisciplinary process of co-creation and collaboration between innovative initiatives.
Small-scale fisheries are part of a food system that connects fishers, gastronomes, and consumers through the flavors and the pieces of knowledge of the seas, lagoons, and rivers. However, in Uruguay, small-scale fisheries face a paradox: local and sustainable fishing is more valued than ever, but fishers struggle to maintain their livelihoods and culture. In response, multiple actors linked to the local food system around small-scale fisheries are applying local solutions and articulating innovative initiatives to overcome this challenge.
The project Fishing Transformations aims to co-create a transformative space by identifying and bringing together several innovative initiatives in small-scale fisheries in Uruguay and thus promoting the exchange of experiences, knowledge, and visions of the future. The co-creation of visions is a key element that serves as a collective objective in this project, driving actions in the present to move towards the desired future. To this end, the project involves various disciplines (Art, Transition Design, Sustainability Science) and social actors (Fishers, Gastronomes, Environmental Entrepreneurs, Researchers, Technicians) to promote collective learning, agency, creativity, and empowerment through diverse and plural approaches.
Fishing Transformations also seeks to be a platform for disseminating existing positive changes in local small-scale fisheries through the production and diffusion of communication pieces for broad audiences and interventions to promote small-scale fishing, its products, and its potential in the local gastronomy. In academic terms, the project seeks to empirically analyze the transformative potential of a coalescence process of innovative initiatives related to small-scale fisheries. This process aims to articulate new narratives and visions of the future towards more sustainable trajectories and thus challenge dominant narratives prone to sustaining the status quo and/or reproducing unsustainable practices.
The project involves the SARAS T-Lab of SARAS (South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies), Maldonado (Uruguay), and the EqualSea Lab of the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). It has also partnered with the Carnegie Mellon School of Design.