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.
Saundersfoot fishermen have had a tough winter with terrible weather pounding the Welsh coast. It was a huge relief when the bass season began in May, where the fishermen use the method of handlining and this type of fishing runs right through to October. The Coronavirus has affected the traditional markets, so the fishermen have adapted to selling their catch to the local people. They have a “you ring, we deliver to your door” service, which is working extremely well. Other fishermen have taken to social media such as Facebook to advertise their catch.
STAR BUY: Handline caught Bass. Caught all over the the UK, they swim into shallow water during the summer months where inshore fishermen catch them using hook and line. These are a particular favourite with British fishermen and consumers as they are a beautiful looking fish with an amazing taste. Bass really are the king of the sea as they are such strong, fast powerful fish. For a quick, easy and healthy bass recipe click here.
South West England
With six beam trawlers still on their annual refit, it was a quiet week for fish, plus hauls are generally lower in the main summer months. The smaller day boat trawlers are also finding it hard trying to fish for some elusive summer fish.
Prices are a mixed bag with Dover sole being sold to Europe and probably holding the best price. Large turbots are one of the fish which has fallen victim to the pandemic, making an exceptionally low price. Hake is also struggling to sell , whilst it would normally sell for £5-£6 per kilo at the start of a tide, dropping to £3 per kilo by the end, it currently starts at £3 per kilo at the beginning of the tide and £2 at the end, which is a considerable drop in price.
North East England
Whitby boats are back fishing for scampi after sales were hit really hard during the lockdown. Usually over half of their scampi going to pubs and restaurants, meaning meant there been no demand for scampi tails, which was bad news for British fishing. After being asked to support British fishing and to enjoy more scampi at home, retail sales have risen 60% and fishermen are back to sea again, catching scampi far and wide across the British Isles to meet the new demand.
South East England
Julie Waites, Seafish
With the good weather comes other problems, some netters find it difficult when the sea becomes clearer (due to the time of year), along with slack neap tides. The sea bass for example become harder to catch. We are seeing good catches of native lobsters. Native lobsters are blue before they are cooked and come in a whole range of shades. They all turn the same shade of red when cooked, but if you look closely at the shell of a native lobster, they are always mottled with flecks of cream.
New business directions continue, some successful grants have allowed the opening of new retail outlets. Sea-licious in Fareham will be opening soon, by the Marshall family who own Bleak House Fishing Limited. The Fresh from the Boat team are getting nearer to opening up their new premises at Emsworth Marina on the 3rd July. Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales have reported that during 12 weeks of lockdown they have kept 50 boats fishing, which is great news.