New initiative will sell Amble fish directly from the harbour
Alongside the new Harbour Village, wanderers along the quayside will doubtless have noticed the construction of the curvaceous new Seafood Centre. This will be home to the Northumberland Seafood Initiative, the first ever centre of its kind in the North East.
Helen Spark and Andrew Gooding have been appointed to job share the Seafood Broker role. “We will be selling fish and developing new markets within the region,” said Andrew.
“We’ll be selling directly to customers and through shops and restaurants,” said Helen. “And we’ll be setting up a fish club, there will be fish auctions and people can buy fish directly from the Seafood Centre.”
The aim of the Northumberland Seafood Initiative is to put more local fish on local plates. By supplying both wholesale, retail and consumers directly with locally caught fish, the intention is to take some of the strain off overfished stocks, introduce consumers to new types of delicious seafood and help support Amble’s inshore fishing fleet.
“As a nation, us Brits are a pretty unadventurous bunch when it comes to seafood,” said Helen. She explained that over 75% of all the seafood we eat comes from the big five: salmon, cod, haddock, tuna and prawns.
“We don’t catch enough of these in the UK, so we end up importing the majority of it,” said Andrew. “This massive demand puts a lot of pressure on a handful of fish stocks. If we want to help solve the problem, we need to diversify what we eat.”
The UK’s inshore fishermen catch a huge variety of quality, fresh, local fish, using low impact methods. But most of their catch is shipped straight to the continent. New European legislation is also putting increased pressure on fishermen to land 100% of their catch with no allowance for any discards.
Andrew and Helen have put together a short survey to gather information on people’s needs, preferences, opinions and behaviour when it comes to buying and eating local seafood. You can collect a hard copy version from Fourways2, or access it online via: www.ambleharbourvillage.co.uk/news-events.