Have you ever wondered what happens to your seafood as it travels from deck to dish? A seafood supply chain can be a highly complex thing! We’ve spoken to players at all levels of the chain to demystify each stage and give you a clear picture of how the fish you order ends up on your plate.
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 trawlers, Cornish fishermen catch around 50 different species of fish and shellfish, weaving 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 or 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 seafood 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.
Whether it’s picking crab meat or smoking mackerel, filleting hake or making fish cakes, processors transform the catch into a valuable, consumable product for retailers. 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 preparation and cooking tips for the buyer, fishmongers are a great way to ensure you are both supporting local and cooking the highest quality seafood at home.
Some of the best chefs will use fresh seafood from that day to inspire what’s on the menu. From monkfish curries to haddock arancini, or roasted hake to classic battered fish and chips, the versatility of fresh seafood is what makes it so exciting and unique. But chefs aren’t just in the restaurants! Home-cooked seafood is a healthy and creative way to mix up your mealtimes.
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