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.
North East England
Scallop prices have been dropping around the country for the fishermen as there have been some big catches coming from the North Sea. English and Scottish Dredgers having been working on ground known as “Doggerbank”. This is a shallow patch of 10-15 fathoms deep in the middle of The North Sea. The vessels that fish here generally land their catch into ports such as Grimsby, Whitby, or Scarborough.
STAR BUY: Scallops. This week’s photo is of the Scallop Dredger Autumn J E222, owned by Andy Giles. Andy fishes for scallops in the English Channel doing 24 hour trips, he has been fishing for 35 years and is a seasoned trawling and scalloping veteran.
North West Scotland
Monday morning saw 5266 boxes of fish on the market for sale. The fishing vessels Castlewood H218 and Attain H332 were the two boats with the majority of the catch, both landing 750 boxes each. The method of fishing these two boats use, is known as pair seining, this is when two fishing vessels tow one big net together between them along the seabed. They mainly tow the net for a few hours at a time fishing for species such as cod, haddock and whiting.
South West England
The Trawlers have had some great catches coming ashore this week being lemon sole, monkfish and John Dory with the prices for fish recovering and helping the fishermen through the COVID-19 pandemic.
With it being a meap tide over the past week, the netters have been landing an abundance of hake across all southwest markets. Last week prices were high, with hake in great demand, but unfortunately not much coming ashore, whereas this week supply is plentiful,creating a challenge for the auctioneers to sell at a good price. It is particularly important now for the fishermen to land
on the correct day so that their fish get the maximum price.
South East England
Julie Waites, Regional Manager – London & South East England, Seafish
Though lockdown is easing we continue to see more businesses being developed to sell seafood caught in the UK, which is normally exported. Abbie Lou Fresh Fish is opening this Friday in Leigh on Sea, named after their vessel Abbie Lou. Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales (BNFS) report this week that their new home delivery service has kept over 50 boats fishing, which may have had to tie up during COVID-19 due to other markets closing.
Though we venture into the East of England territory it is worth mentioning the volumes of Cromer Crab we are seeing sold across the UK. Cromer crabs are caught in the North Sea around the Norfolk village of Cromer, caught on the chalky reef offshore. These meaty crabs are popular as they have a relatively high proportion of white to brown meat.