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CONSUMO RESPONSABLE DE CONCHA PRIETA Y CANGREJO por Ivanna Zauzich

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Compartimos este artículo de nuestra amiga Ivanna Zauzich Posada publicado en Mortero de Piedra sobre nuestro trabajo en el manglar y nuestro empeño por procurar ofrecer nuevos productos y opciones gastronómicas para la concha negra y cangrejo rojo, a un consumidor responsable.

¿Queremos más conchas y más cangrejos en nuestras mesas y en las mesas de nuestros hijos y nietos? Debemos saber que para eso necesitamos más manglar bien cuidado y más comunidades con mejores condiciones de vida.

Gracias por esta linda nota.

 

*Fotos del artículo original

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Consumo responsable de concha prieta y cangrejo

RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION OF BLACK CLAM (anadara tuberculosa) AND CRAB by Ivanna Zauzich

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We share this article by our friend Ivanna Zauzich Posada, published in Mortero de Piedra, about our work in the mangrove and our efforts to offer new products and gastronomic options for black clam and red crab for responsible consumers.

Do we want more black clams and more crabs at our table and at the table of our children and grandchildren? We must know that this will mean we need more mangroves, well cared for, and more communities with better living conditions.

Thank you for this nice note.

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RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION OF BLACK CLAM (anadara tuberculosa) AND CRAB

If we are not responsible consumers, we will be the last generation to see black clams and crabs. It is no secret that bans (to let them breed) are not respected and that these products are marketed in too small a size to ensure these species’ sustainability.

The black or blood clam (Concha Prieta in Spanish) must be eaten only when it is over 4.5 cm (1.77 in) and the minimum size for crabs is 7.5 cm (2.9 in), measures that are not usually respected.

Coincidentally, the Heifer Ecuador Foundation and the IDB LAB (of the Inter-American Development Bank) are promoting a competitiveness project in mangrove concessionary communities, in the Gulf of Guayaquil, to change this reality and improve the living standards of families that live off the mangrove ecosystem.

In this context, on May 21, 2019, at USFQ’s Marcus Restaurant, a tasting menu was developed in which the star ingredients were clam and crab. The appetizer was:

  • Black clam “panther milk” with lemon foam
  • Coconut crab croquette
  • Crab roll

The rest of the menu was a parade of dishes such as fettuccini with squid ink and black clams, sweet rice with avocado soup and crab claw and crab pulp.

The aim was to show these products’ potential in haute cuisine. Also, to generate ideas on how to add value to these products so that communities can work on projects of this type and obtain greater economic benefits, since most of the profit is skimmed off by middlemen.

 

WHAT IS NEEDED TO IMPROVE THESE PRODUCERS’ QUALITY OF LIFE:

  • Mangrove conservation and sustainable management: It is crucial to strengthen associations’ skills and capacities, to structure and work with the government’s Mangrove Partner program, to manage, control and supervise mangrove concession areas. An interesting fact is that in 2000 these communities had 6,000 hectares of mangrove to gather crabs and by 2018 they had grown to 12,000 hectares because of their good management under the project.
  • Integrating the value chain: Strengthening skills with collectors’ associations and the Network of Artisanal Fishing Production Organizations of El Oro (UOPPAO) for administrative management, accounting, finance and marketing mangrove products.
  • Access to financing: Strengthening management capacities to access formal banking services and manage operating capital for associations, companies and partners participating in the project.

 

THE CONSUMER IS THE KEY

These initiatives are valuable, but they will be meaningless if consumers do not support them. We are always looking for a way to avoid the ban, we don't know the right size to buy seafood, either – and maybe we don't care. If we don't change this way of thinking, we will be the last generation to have eaten crab and concha prieta (black clam/anadara tuberculosa), as explained to us by Esteban Tapia, a professor at USFQ and a renowned gastronomic researcher and promoter of the Slow Food movement in Ecuador.

The Heifer Ecuador Foundation faces a great challenge to encourage innovation in mangrove communities, so that their products are marketed at a better price without increasing their clam or crab catch, in order to maintain sustainability. However, if the communities, foundations, organizations and cooks participating in this project work hard, why don't we (consumers) give ourselves time to get to know this and make better decisions when eating at a restaurant or shopping at a supermarket. It's time to think about the future, to leave a better world, one that does have crab and black clams for the generations to come.

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WRITTEN BY IVANNA ZAUZICH

Ivanna Zauzich is a gastronomic journalist, passionate about reviving ancestral flavors and in love with Ecuador’s traditions. A specialist in SEO (content indexing in search engines) because Google represents a business opportunity, especially for the gastronomy and tourism sector.

 

*Photos of the original article

 

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