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Fishing For Smelt, Osmerus Eperlanus (Linnaeus, 1758): A traditional food fish – possible cuisinein post-modern Sweden?
Institutionen för rysslandsstudier Uppsala universitet. (The story of the crusian carp)
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.
Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs,Warsaw, Poland.
2016 (English)In: Slovak Ethnology, ISSN 1335-1303, Vol. 2, no 64Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

For the rural population in Sweden, fishing in lakes and rivers was of great importanceuntil recently. Many fish species served as food or animal fodder, or were used tomake glue and other useful products. But the receding of lakes in the nineteenthcentury, and the expansion of hydropower and worsening of water pollution in thetwentieth, contributed to the decline of inland fisheries. At the same time, marinefish became more competitive on the Swedish food market. In some regions, however,certain freshwater species continued to be caught for household consumption wellinto the twentieth century. One such species was the smelt (Osmerus eperlanus),which fifty years ago was still of economic importance. Nowadays, however, smeltis only caught in very low volumes; its role is therefore insignificant. In neighbouringcountries, however – such as Estonia, Lithuania, and Russia – it is still being exploitedcommercially. In Germany, where water quality has improved in rivers and restaurantshave shown increasing interest in smelt, a successful revival for the fish as a regionaland seasonal food can be seen. Smelt fishing has dimensions which are not onlyculinary, but social and cultural as well. Traditional ways of food preparation can betransformed into modern haute cuisine. Smelt fishing has the potential to developcommercially in Sweden also.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bratislava: Institute of Ethnology SAS , 2016. Vol. 2, no 64
Keyword [en]
Aquatic resources, ethnobiology, food for future, freshwater fish, human geography, local fishery, traditional knowledge
National Category
Environmental Sciences Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Environmental Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30594OAI: diva2:948398
Nors: förbisedd resurs och framtida matfisk?
Available from: 2016-07-11 Created: 2016-07-11 Last updated: 2016-07-20Bibliographically approved

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