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 all taste great! 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 – Some of the lesser known species such as cuttlefish or sprat 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 the freshest of fish of the highest quality. 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 or discards. In the main, day boats are smaller vessels, often with a crew of one or two who provide high value, 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 fishermen have worked closely with scientists and marine managers to improve these types of fishing resulting in reduced impact on the marine environment, improving selectivity and reducing unwanted discards and by-catch. 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. Fishermen have also been engaged in a world class scientifically-based management project, allowing fishermen to input their skills in testing  the sustainability of potting techniques and fishing methods. This type of work provides reassurance to consumers that the most selective and least harmful methods are being used in this important area.

Enjoy the festival  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.

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