Brits urged to eat more fish
The declaration comes as skippers of fishing trawlers feel the economic effects of Covid-19.
Given the uproar that enshrouded the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (remember those little debates?), the fishing trade has been at the forefront of political debate for a number of years. Now, with the chaos of coronavirus constantly covering headlines of every news reporting outlet in the land, fishing businesses have once again been thrust into the centre of attention.
Groups representing the UK fishing industry have urged shoppers to buy fish caught by British trawlers because the alarm surrounding Covid-19 has left many fishing workers unable to sell their catches.
Due to the enforced closure (either temporarily or, in an increasing number of cases, permanently) of restaurants, cafes and hotels across the entire country, owners of fishing vessels have been left with a diminished amount of options for selling their produce. The situation has been made worse by the export options of Europe and China having been removed in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19 (normally, 80% of catches would be exported abroad).
The chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations – Barrie Deas – has encouraged consumers to try branching out with the fish that they buy, experimenting with types that they would normally avoid. He suggested that lobster, crab, scallops and Dover sole should all be readily available to buy at reasonable prices.
Governments in Northern Ireland and Scotland have already outlined measures designed to support the finances of those in the fishing community and it is predicted that plans for England will be detailed soon. However, for the industry to benefit in the long term consumers need to throw their weight (and, more importantly, their money) behind local food suppliers.
Fishing workers have been stepping up door-to-door sales and increasing options for delivery (the site Pesky Fish is a useful tool for anyone looking to order), but the big boost will only come from shoppers changing their purchasing habits and looking closely for produce that has been sourced from the UK.