Brixham is now the largest fishing port in England with £20m of fish landed every year. Once the fish is landed it is sold by auction on the quayside, we have 2 buyers attend that auction everyday to buy fish on our behalf form the boats that we know are the best in the port, it is delivered to us each night within hours of being landed. The South West of the country is considered to be the most diverse and best quality fish in the UK. The fleet in made up of day boats, potters fishing for crab and lobster and beam trawlers. There are 40 different species landed here. Whilst we buy from other fishing ports over 90% of our fish is from Brixham. A more detailed list follows.
- Brixham – monkfish, brill, bass, gurnard, john dory, red mullet, pouting, cod, lemon sole, Dover sole, turbot, dabs, plaice, black bream, dogfish, skate, Pollack, mackerel, pilchards, scallops, squid, cuttlefish.
- Dartmouth – Crab and Lobster – we buy these live and cook and prepare them at rockfish each day.
- Stornaway – Langoustines.
- Scotland – Farmed Salmon – we buy from a company called Loch Duart who are freedom food certified – it is not organic.
- Isle of Man – Queen scallops.
- Greece – Sea bream and Sea bass – farmed.
- Northern France – razor clams, cooked prawns (these are farmed).
- Tuna and Swordfish – from sustainably fished fisheries in Sri Lanka – We do not sell Bluefin tuna – all our fish is of the yellowfin species.
Sustainability – our view and stance
Our policy at RockFish
Our fish in the main comes from the fisheries of the South West. It is considered one of the most well managed fisheries in the UK, the boats are strictly controlled by what they can catch and form where and how many days they can spend at sea. The fleet has been cut down in size over the years therefore much less fish is being caught and the fishing effort balances the recommendations of what can sustainably be caught. We will not buy fish from anywhere where we cannot feel comfortable about the health of the fishery or fishing method. Brixham and the South West has really moved towards becoming the leading sustainably fished fishery in the UK.
Sustainability is all about ensuring we do not fish a specie beyond the levels at which it can reproduce and maintain healthy stock levels. We must also ensure that fisheries are managed in such a way that the harvesting of wild fish does not upset the delicate balance of an oceans eco-system or damage the environment beyond what can repair itself naturally. Nobody wants to see a world without fish and there has been a huge focus on ensuring we are aware of the issues. Fishing is a global industry and there are nations like Japan who consume up to $28m every day! There are fishing methods used to maintain this level of supply that have caused an outcry the world over but change is happening and archaic damaging practices will be stopped and catches controlled, we believe we will avert disaster.
At RockFish we will not buy fish from any fishery that is not well controlled or managed and pledge to adapt our supply chain to ensure we are part of the global effort for change, well being for our fisheries and fish for the future.
When there are many people contributing to this debate there are bound to be differing views and I think everyone is aware of the issues and the need to buy fish from a sustainable source however I believe there is a lot of confusion out there with people worried about what species to eat and which ones are banned. We do not sell fish that is endangered and Bluefin tuna is at the top of that list. For other specie we buy from well managed fisheries, mainly the South West where quotas are controlled so that fish are not caught beyond the levels of what is safe and recommended. We are in constant conversation with the all parties interested in this issue, Good Catch, the MSC, the Seafish Industry Authority and so on and we would adjust our and policy view if we were advised to.