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 and round-fish like sea bass. This fish variety provides a great opportunity to try something you haven’t tried before and helps to spread the load across species, this in turn helps reduce the impact on some of our more heavily exploited species. Look out for gurnard and John Dory for instance, they may look a little different to your regular choice but they both have a great taste. Some of the lesser known species such as cuttlefish are also easier on your pocket and offer a valuable source of protein as well as those essential elements like omega-3.

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 a high quality product. The types of fishing methods used by day boats include potting, static net and handline. These are particularly low-impact methods and produce little by-catch and discards. In the main, day boats are the 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 in the 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 are currently engaged with the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve and 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.

Find out more about how Seafish is supporting the seafood industry visit www.seafish.org and for great recipes, competitions, educational materials and health information visit www.fishisthedish.co.uk

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