As a nation, us Brits are pretty unadventurous when it comes to our choices in eating seafood. 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. 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.
Our inshore fishermen tend to fish on the same patches of sea, targeting different fish according to the seasons (see the fish & seafood seasonality chart). Throughout the year they catch a huge variety of quality, fresh, local fish and seafood using low impact methods. But most of their catch is shipped straight to the continent, making it difficult for locals and restaurants to gain access to quality, local seafood.
The idea behind Northumberland Seafood is to source directly from local fishermen, taking the strain off overfished stocks and introducing customers to new types of delicious seafood. As well as offering customers a range of seafood they are familiar with, we want to introduce them to species of fish they don’t know much about and are unsure how to prepare. Species such as gurnard, pollock, sand dab, squid, witch, red fish, whiting, ling, monkfish, red mullet and a variety of flatfish which are plentiful off the Northumberland coast and at low to medium conservation risk. By building a base of seafood savvy customers Northumberland Seafood will be helping the local inshore fishing fleet remain sustainable whilst enabling customers to get their hands on a plentiful supply of fresh, seasonal and tasty locally caught seafood.
The Northumberland Seafood Centre is part of the Amble Harbour Village development; aiming to transform Amble into a visitor destination excelling in seafood, attract new visitors, create new jobs and help to sustain the wider economy of the area.
Northumberland Seafood will have three main centres of operation; wholesale, Creel Fish Club and harbourside sales and aims to put more local fish on local plates.
In 2014 Northumberland County Council secured £1.8million of grant funding from the UK Government’s Coastal Communities Fund to develop a new, small business village on the harbour-side at Amble. Centred on the town’s seafood industry, the project was drawn up by Northumberland County Council in partnership with Amble Development Trust, Amble Town Council, business representatives and the wider community of Amble.
We’re proud to be the first seafood centre in the North of England to embrace this sustainable ethos and we hope you will join us in supporting our local Northumberland fishing fleet and the Northumberland Seafood Centre.