Contact: Patti Parisi,
Director of Marketing & Communications
(510) 593-5188

What is Poisson d'Avril?


Poisson d'Avril is a French moniker ascribed to someone who is fooled on April 1st. Legend has it that the custom dates to the 16th century. In 1564, King Charles IX of France broke with a 12th century custom by decreeing that New Year's Day would occur on January 1 rather than at the spring solstice--ending a traditional week-long celebration of spring and rebirth that had lasted until...April 1. An uproar arose. Resistors were mocked by being sent joke gifts.

Also, because in early spring the sun is leaving the zodiacal sign of Pisces, the pranks were coined "Poisson d'Avril." April 1st became a fun holiday filled with the offering of lighthearted presents...often gift-wrapped fish. Children would draw fish and attach them on backs of the unsuspecting. Today it has become an occasion for exchanging chocolate fish.

Each April 1, Passionfish will return to the origins of Poisson d'Avril as a celebration of new beginnings. What better way to look forward to a future replete with sustainable seafood!



About us:   Passionfish is an innovative non-profit project that promotes sustainable fisheries and aquaculture through public education and stakeholder collaboration. Founded in 2000, Passionfish helps business and the public grasp the complex issues of seafood sustainability. Its programs include exhibitions, community education "Get the Dish on Fish" dinners,"Poisson d'Avril" events, live public forums, and consumer and children's education. Passionfish believes that everyone shares the same need for healthy global fish populations. We endeavor to bring diverse stakeholders together to troubleshoot and overcome obstacles to ocean sustainability. Our organization promotes unique business-conservation partnerships, builds solutions through productive dialogue, and inspires conservation through a cookbook series coupled with vibrant special events.

Match your passion with cash--please support Passionfish.