Dorset Seafood Festival Dorset Seafood Festival Dorset Seafood Festival Dorset Seafood Festival Dorset Seafood Festival Dorset Seafood Festival

Enjoy Seafood

Fish Local

There is a wide range of seafood that can be sourced from the waters off Dorset, with a choice of over 40 different species available. The range covers shellfish like oysters and mussels which are harvested in the clear waters around Poole and Portland, crab and lobster found all along the Dorset coast, through to flatfish like Dover sole, plaice and dab and round-fish like sea bass, pollock and the ever-popular mackerel. This fish variety provides a great opportunity to try something you haven’t tried before and helps to spread demand across a wider variety of species, this in turn helps reduce the impact on some of our more heavily exploited species and maintain fish stocks. Look out for gurnard, red mullet and John Dory for instance, they may look a little different to your regular choice but they both have a great taste. If you’re looking for recipe ideas or tips for how best to cook different types of fish, Seafish has a website full of information about eating seafood – www.fishisthedish.co.uk. Some of the lesser known species such as cuttlefish or spratt are also easier on your pocket and offer a valuable source of protein as well as those essential elements like omega-3.

Health professionals recommend that we should eat two portions of seafood each week, one of which should be an oily fish like mackerel, herring or sardines. Look out for the Seafish stand where you’ll be able to find out more about their ‘Fish 2 a week’ campaign and more details about the healthy goodness in seafood. You can also find out more by visiting www.2aweek.co.uk. You can find out about the many other campaigns and activities that Seafish is doing to support the seafood industry at www.seafish.org, or ask at their stand.

The majority of fishing vessels in the Dorset area are day boats. This means that the fishers return with their catch on the day it is caught and, with the high standard of care taken in handling and storage, provides you, the consumer, with the freshest of fish at the highest quality product. The types of fishing methods used by day boats include potting for lobster and crab, static nets for plaice and Dover sole and handlines for species such as mackerel and Pollock. These are particularly low-impact methods and produce little by-catch and discards. In the main, day boats are smaller vessels, often with a crew of one or two who provide high value and high quality fish landed daily. There is some trawling activity in the area, mainly offshore in deeper waters, as well as dredging for scallop by the larger vessels. In recent years improvements made to these types of fishing have reduced the impact they have on the seabed and the amount of by-catch or discards they produce.

Along the Dorset coast there have been several areas identified as having significant environmental importance and they have been given protection against any activity that might damage their habitat. An example of this is in Lyme Bay where Fishermen from Dorset and Devon are currently engaged with the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve. Fishermen have agreed a voluntary Code of Conduct which will apply to all fishermen operating in the area. This code is the first step in demonstrating that the inshore fisheries of Lyme Bay are fully sustainable. The next step will be a world class scientifically-based management project, designed with the input of fishermen and their skills, which will test the sustainability of potting techniques and fishing methods, provide reassurance to the public, to a level that has never before been attempted, that the most selective and least harmful methods are being used in this important area.

Enjoy the festival today and make this the opportunity to try one of the many species of seafood Dorset has to offer, knowing that the local fishing community is working to provide you with high quality fish caught in a responsible manner.

The Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival raises funds for the Fishermen's Mission - the vital port of call for fishermen and their families.
Fishermen's Mission