Encuentro de los mares



Roderick Sloan. Chef and sea urchin fisherman in the Norwegian Arctic


The objective of Roderick Sloan, chef and sea urchin fisherman in the Norwegian Arctic, is to work and leave the surroundings intact. He believes that the sea is a major source of food with a coherent, sustainable, proper fishing system.

“When a customer asks me for something, I never say yes or no because give-me is normal", says Roderick Sloan. A genuine declaration of intent. “Do you think fishing is sustainable?”, he asked the audience. The answer was held back until the end.

He explained that Covid changed his life: his customers closed down, and he had no work. A period he used to reflect. After a year had elapsed, a fishing company offered him a job as consultant. “My idea was to draw up an area cartography to decide where and when we would fish. They told me that, on principle, this wasn't possible. But I told them that, if they couldn't permit this, then a person like me couldn't either. In fact, they hate me at the restaurants because, when I go into their kitchens, I inspect everything, and I even ask about salaries. I believe in sustainability”.

Sloan then listed the kind of molluscs to be found in the sea, and how important the fishing system is if it is not to damage the sea bed. “I'm very strict. In Norway, we do everything by hand - fishing is not mechanical. Divers go down and they take them one by one, and that's why it's so expensive", he explains. And, he adds: "my work is changing the way we fish". Roderick feels the ideal system is to use small boats and divers, because this ensures that the product is top-quality, and also creates jobs and payment for workers. “The dragnet system damages the sea bed, and doesn't produce quality fish or seafood. If I take that to my customers, they would refuse. And I only sell live produce because it's a guarantee of quality", says Sloan. 

The trapping system is one of the most sustainable fishing systems for spider crabs, for example, "but it is not  extraordinary", he says. Sloan feels that Norway has one of the world's best fishing systems, but he believes that they are not keeping up with technology. He feels that drones are the solution, because they allow sea food to be selected without any need for divers. “They are operated by remote control, but this is a two-year technology in Norway”.

And he rounded off his talk with support for the younger generations. “The next generation is better. It thinks more about all these things. The time has come for us to work with them, to inspire them, to educate them ... in my company, we only take on employees aged 30 to go into management. We have to support them”.