From how people work to how they relax, Cornish life is shaped by the sea, and has been forever. The ocean on our doorstep brings with it an incredible selection of seafood, and its surrounding community offers insightful stories into the fishing heritage which Cornwall is famous for. Seafood Cornwall celebrates all these things: coastal life, hard work, community, creativity, and healthy and delicious food.
Seafood Cornwall is led by the Cornish Fish Producers’ Organisation (CFPO) which was established in 1975 by local fishermen in Cornwall. Today, they are proud to represent fishermen from all over Cornwall and beyond, who make up one of the most sustainable and diverse fishing fleets in Europe.
It all starts at sea, where fishermen work round the clock to bring us an incredibly wide selection of seafood. From gill netters to potters, hand liners to trawls, Cornish fishermen catch around 50 different species of fish and weave diversity into the supply chain from the very beginning.
Once landed from the vessels, the catch is either taken to Newlyn Fish Market: Cornwall’s only live fish auction or sold directly to keen customers on the quayside! The market sells anything landed that day and the night before by a variety of boats, from handline-caught mackerel or tangle-netted crawfish right through to the mixed catch of pelagic fish brought in by the largest beam trawlers.
In order to purchase fresh fish and shellfish at the first point of sale, merchants are up bright and early for the 6am auction. Buying, dealing with, and transporting large volumes of catch from bigger boats, merchants are vital to supporting the basic infrastructure of the industry; without them, the market, ice, fuel, storage, and much more would not exist.
Catch is transformed into a valuable, consumable product for retailers by processors, whether by picking brown crab meat or smoking mackerel, filleting hake or making spider crab cakes. Processing is essential to increase the intake of Cornish seafood, as consumer behaviour in the UK suggests a preference for processed seafood products over whole fish and shellfish.
Fishmongers, who often buy directly from the morning auction, offer fresh, local, and high-quality fish and shellfish straight to the public. With impressive displays and handy cooking tips from the seller, fishmongers are a great way to ensure you are both buying local and cooking excellent fish at home.
Finally, the catch is ready to eat – and it looks delicious! Roast monkfish, smoked haddock arancini, fresh lobster and classic fish and chips are just some of the superb seafood dishes that fill the plates of hungry consumers from across Cornwall, the country and the world.
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