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

Fishy Tales

At The Stable, Weymouth

NOTE: Online sales now ended. Saturday tickets SOLD OUT. For Sunday tickets (limited availability), please visit the Pommery Merchandise Stand on Custom House Quay over the weekend.

The festival’s first live and interactive celebrity seafood discussion panel, where our panel of famous and influential guests will discuss a smorgasbord of personal fish related topics, from catching and cooking, to conservation and poacher policing.

This exclusive 40-seat event will be held over both days in a private room at The Stable, Weymouth (13 Custom House Quay, Weymouth DT4 8BG) at 2pm overlooking historic Weymouth Harbour.

Your Fishy Tales' Host

Nick Fisher will be chairing the event and encouraging the audience to ask questions of our celebrity guests.   Nick is a BAFTA winning scriptwriter and series creator with a diverse range of writing credits in film, radio, stage, journalism and books. He is currently working on BBC1’s top rating prime time hospital drama Holby City, for which he has written over 30 episodes. He also created and presented two fishing series Screaming Reels for Channel 4 and Dirty Tackle for BBC5Live.

He is a much published expert in fishing and fish cookery having co-writen the River Cottage Fish Book with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Nick also wrote the River Cottage Sea Fishing Handbook and is one of a handful of contributors to the latest River Cottage title An A - Z of Ingredients

Nick’s debut novel Pot Luck, a dark and twisty murderous crime thriller set against a back drop of the Weymouth commercial crab fishing industry, was recently published to critical acclaim by Peridot Press. The TV filming rights have recently been bought by Kindle Entertainment. 

Nick Fisher


SATURDAY 8th July - 2.00pm

Local Fish – Could We Love Them More?


Jeremy Paxman

Jeremy Paxman has been invited because he loves fishing. That said, he’s also an award-winning journalist, author and television presenter. His latest series is Channel 4’s Rivers with Jeremy Paxman. And his memoir A Life in Questions was published in October 2016. Jeremy will be signing copies of his book at the Festival.

Beginning his career covering The Troubles in Northern Ireland, Jeremy then spent eight years reporting around the world, before becoming anchorman of BBC’s Newsnight in 1989, a post he held for 25 years. He has been chairman of University Challenge since 1994.

Jeremy was born in Yorkshire in 1950, educated at Malvern College in Worcestershire and received his degree (in English) from St Catherine's College, Cambridge. He’s an Honorary Fellow and a Fellow by Special Election at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He also holds honorary doctorates from Leeds, Bradford and the Open University.

He is author of ten books, including The English - Portrait of a People; The Political Animal; On Royalty; The Victorians; Empire - What Ruling the World Did to the British and Great Britain’s Great War. 


Caroline Bennett

Founder and owner of Moshi Moshi, the UK’s first automated sushi bar, Caroline aims to represent contemporary Japan in the UK.  She’s actively involved in marine conservation through work managed by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), on the fisheries’ project ‘Invest in Fish’. 

Moshi Moshi has been recognised for its work in marine conservation and received the Green Apple Award in 2006 and the RSPCA’s Innovation Award in 2007.  Through Caroline's work, with her own restaurant and the Pisces-RFR project, Caroline is both encouraging others to improve sustainability and also making this improvement logistically possible by connecting restaurants with responsible fishermen.  Caroline was also lauded as a 2009 international Seafood Champion by SeaWeb’s Seafood Choices. She sat on the Board of Slow Food UK and is now an International Councilor for Slow Food and sits on Sustainable Fish City’s advisory board. 


Mitch Tonks

Mitch has become one of the most respected and knowledgeable seafood crusaders.

Mitch is an acclaimed restaurateur, chef and author.  His Seahorse restaurant in Dartmouth has won the Observer’s ‘Best UK Restaurant’;  his Rockfish takeaway restaurant chain has twice claimed ‘Best Independent Restaurant’ at the National Fish & Chip Awards.

On TV, Mitch is known for his ten-part fishing series with Matt Dawson and appearances on Saturday Kitchen and Market Kitchen.

He is committed to giving back to the community and has embarked on an academy scheme in partnership with South Devon College, to help train the next generation of aspiring chefs and to supporting local fishing industries. On matters of UK fishing, sustainability and supply, his is arguably one of the most erudite and credible voices.

SUNDAY 9th July - 2.00pm

Protecting the future of our fishermen and our fish. Threats and opportunities.


Annie Gilbert

Annie is one of the UK’s few female commercial fishing skippers. Annie has been at the coal face of inshore commercial fishing for 13 years, working out of Poole Harbour where she specialises in line-caught sustainable fish.  She and her husband Ian, work from their Cheetah Cat, Happy Hooker II. Annie joins the panel to give us a personal female professional perspective on exactly how hard and dangerous and rewarding and exciting, her job can be.  Like many commercial skippers she is tasked with the job of supplying quality produce, in quality condition, to the ever hungry, if sometime fickle fish market. With the challenges of catching fish, braving the south coast storms, understanding local and European fisheries regulations, while dodging sharks and communing with dolphins, she claims to never have a dull day.

Annie is joined by two different voices on the panel today who play vital roles in protecting our UK waters and fishing industry.


Martyn Underhill

Commissioner for Dorset Police and passionate fisherman, Martyn Underhill will be talking about the post-Brexit policing of our inshore waters.

In November 2012, Martyn Underhill became Dorset's first ever Independent PCC.  Martyn has spent over 30 years in policing, finishing his operational career as a detective chief inspector.

A notable moment in the Commissioner’s career included policing the first Brixton riots – a defining moment for policing with community relations at an all-time low.  This led Martyn down the path of pursuing greater governance, scrutiny and accountability within the police service.  Among other career highlights, Martyn considers his greatest achievement to be introducing Child Rescue Alert into the UK in 2003 after working on the Sarah Payne case.

On 6 May 2016, Martyn was re-elected as Dorset PCC for his second term.

Martyn is passionate about supporting the marine community. He has committed specific funding to bolster our Marine Policing response and continues to campaign about the important issue of port security. Martyn’s interest in the marine environment extends beyond policing; he enjoys sea fishing, when time allows, and loves Dorset Seafood Festival.


Chris Poulson

Lieutenant  Chris Poulson Royal Navy, HMS Severns’  Executive Officer and Second in Command joins the Festival this year.

HMS SEVERN will be berthed in Weymouth Harbour over the weekend and is a River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel of the Royal Navy’s Fishery Protection Squadron.  The Squadron is the oldest in the Navy and its primary role is to conduct Marine Enforcement patrols within the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone.  These patrols chiefly focus on Fishery Protection duties and SEVERN, along with her sisters HM ships TYNE and MERSEY, regularly board fishing vessels of all nationalities throughout the year.  These boardings support the industry by providing advice and guidance with new legislation and safety regulations, as well as enforcing the law if required.


Programme correct at time of publication.

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