News from the Ports: 20th May

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.

Langoustines caught by Billy Coffey skipper of the Lucinda Ann B313 at Portavogie

Langoustines caught by Billy Coffey skipper of the Lucinda Ann B313 at Portavogie

Northern Ireland


The majority of prawn trawlers returning to sea this week for the first time since lockdown. Although they are facing limited markets and a reduced price for their prawns it is hoped that this will mark the start of a major recovery for the North Irish fleet.

STAR BUY: Langoustines, also known as Dublin Bay prawns. Click here to find out more about them.



Scottish whitefish  vessels (who catch whiting, haddock, cod, ling etc) have been asked by their Government to tie their boats up and cease fishing to reduce the volume of fish being landed within the NE of Scotland. This in return has increased the demand for the lower volume of fish, with skippers noting that the increase in prices make this workable. Whether the fishermen will be asked to do this again in June has not been decided as yet.

South West England

Plymouth & Brixham

Some of the larger Beam trawlers have temporarily stopped fishing to carry out their annual refits. This normally happens once a year to enable the boat to have essential checks on the mechanics, a good overhaul on the vessel plus a much needed lick of paint! These refits come at a great cost but will lead to less fish being landed which in turn increases the price at market. Some prime species such as monkfish and Dover sole have increased to their highest price since the lockdown started.

South East England

Update from Julie Waites, Seafish

As the weather settles and temperatures increase this month the annual local cuttlefish fishery will commence in the Sussex district, the season usually lasts for 6 – 8 weeks.  Traps are used to target cuttlefish with purpose made plastic entrances that have a series of flexible fingers. These fingers bend outwards easily as the cuttlefish enters the trap, and then spring back into shape to trap the cuttlefish.

The improved weather compared to last week means we are seeing an abundance of different species being landed such as bream, skate, plaice, sole, some large turbots, crabs and lobster. Demand through the various new routes to market remain high, with mixed fish boxes proving very popular as home deliveries and online.

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