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.
Fishing has been steady here since June 2nd, averaging 1,200 tons per week. The market has averaged 6,500 boxes per day with good quality fish coming ashore. For prawn markets, the boats have been landing twice a week, this is to ensure the product is as fresh as possible and to gain the best prices. Weather has been fine in recent weeks with haddock and whiting being the main species. Prices were as follows: select cod £3.49, whiting £2.10, haddock £3.92 per kilo. Local squid fishing in the Moray Firth is gradually coming to an end, this type of fishing has been steady throughout the summer months, with prices at £5.25 per kilo for the smaller squid and £10.00 for the larger.
STAR BUY: Summer Squid. Pictured are the fabulous summer squid, as inky and slippery as they are, they make a spectacular dish, cut into rings and either fried in a light batter or just as they are. They can also be used in a number of superb recipes, inducing paired with a Thai dipping sauce, or cooked on the good old barbecue.
South West England
There are an abundance of tuna swimming in the South West approaches this summer, with fishermen spying them feeding on the surface of the water most days. These are large bluefin tuna which carry a high value when landed, however, under current laws UK fishermen are not allowed to fish for them given their protected status.
After a week at sea on a very “neap” tide, the larger netters are now starting to come in to land their fish. Fishing for hake was steady for the time of year but initial signs are implying that the tangle net fishing for turbot and monkfish has been poor. The Crystal Sea, Newlyn’s largest, newest trawler and was only launched in February of this year has been nonstop fishing throughout the Coronavirus and lockdown, landing fish each week. Landing her catch today, she will then be steaming up towards Tom’s Boatyard in Polruan for some annual maintenance.
This summer has seen an unusual occurrence, with larger Belgian beam trawlers landing in Newlyn. These vessels, generally 30-40 metres long, fish in UK waters, landing their catch to the nearest largest port. This is then loaded onto a lorry and taken back to Belgium to sell. These boats generally fish off the North Cornwall and Devon coast then land into Milford Haven in Wales, although this year they have been seen to be fishing 30 miles South of the Isles of Scilly, all landing daily into Newlyn for the last three weeks.
The Cornish sardine ring netting is in full swing with most boats catching approximately 5 tons per night, in Mounts Bay. Mount’s Bay is only a few miles from Newlyn and most nights you can visibly see the boats fishing this method only a couple of miles from the harbour wall.
South East England
Julie Waites, Seafish
The weather is causing havoc again. Despite that, we are seeing some great quality John Dory, Dover sole, whiting, plaice, lobsters, mackerel and bass being landed.
We have had two new businesses selling seafood direct to the consumer open up last week in Fareham and SW London. Sea-licious and Life of Fish fishmongers, as well as offering local deliveries they are supporting our UK fishing industry by supplying the public with UK landed species.
Zoe Marshall, from Sea-delicious says ‘We are passionate about getting fresh fish straight from the fishing vessels to our local community. We have had a lot of positive reaction and support for the business from local fishermen, Seafish and the general public’.