News from the Ports

Each week Clive Palfrey, Regional Safety Adviser for Seafood Cornwall Training, provides an update on the comings and goings from the UK’s fishing ports and markets. Pulled together from skippers and merchants across the country this piece provides an insight into the UK’s fishing fleets and the amazing range of seafood they land every day.

This weeks star buy: Handline Caught Mackerel 

David Simon handlining for Mackerel in Cornwall

David Simon handlining for Mackerel in Cornwall

South West

With it being a Spring tide and a larger sector of the fleet being Netters that normally work over a Neap tide, it was a quiet start to the week. The landings will start to increase as the week commences due to the majority of the Netters sailing over the weekend.

Last week saw the first of the Cornish hand caught Mackerel return, with some excellent landings over the weekend. There were also some smaller landings from the ‘day boat trawlers’ with a good showing of Lemon sole, Haddock and Monk. The prices considering our current uncertain predicament, were surprisingly steady.

Northern Ireland

A port mainly of consisting of Prawn trawlers. Unfortunately most of this fleet have been tied up in Harbour since the middle of March due to Covid19.

The prawns they usually catch are normally shipped to England where they are processed for the UK restaurants etc. With the restaurants being closed due to this virus there is obviously no demand for the prawns, leaving the trawlers tied up with no income. These vessels still have many expenditure outgoings and employ Foreign crew who still need to be paid a wage, with some of these vessels losing up to £11,000 per month

East Coast Scotland

In light of the current Government advice, Peterhead Fishmarket have introduced a maximum landing of 5,000 boxes per day which will help to enhance the social distancing law at work for the staff, Merchants and Fishermen.

Monday morning saw 5019 boxes of mixed fish landed, the selection was as follows:

Cod 399, Monk 454, Haddock 1600, Saithe 303, Megrim 509 and lastly Hake 490 boxes making up the bulk of the landings.

East Coast England

Grimsby Fish market
Although Grimsby market is closed to the public,  we are still seeing plenty of fish on the market floor. The total of boxes of fish for sale on Monday morning was 922, the total kilo of fish for sale was 49,600.

Icelandic fish made up 494 of the boxes, with the rest of the fish being landed ‘overland’ (being shipped in from other ports.)

Prices as follows:
Cod £2.70 – £3.20 per Kilo

Haddock 50p small £4.00 extra large per Kilo

Plaice prices range from £1.50 – £3.00 per Kilo

South East England

Content from Julie Waites, Regional Manager London & South East, Seafish

The Eastern Channel area is a mixed fishery, from Seabass, Plaice, Dover Sole to many shellfish varieties such as whelks, cockles, crab and lobster. Until recently the majority of the fishermen exported approximately 80% of these catches to Europe, and 20% to local restaurants. COVID-19 has seen many of the fishermen seek alternative markets within the UK such as buying direct from the boat, on-line and home delivery sales. Line caught Sea bass is just one species in season, currently being landed in ports such as Shoreham, Portsmouth, Brighton, Hastings and Selsey.

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