Customers get Hooked on Line-caught Sea Bass from the South Coast
Since the launch of the South East Seafood tagged sea bass, South East Seafood has been dealing with many enquiries from fishmongers and wholesalers who want to offer the top quality fish to their customers. Over 18000 tags to identify the source of the fish have been used since the launch in April 2010.
The scheme was designed to promote the South East as a region from which to source seafood from sustainably managed inshore fisheries. A fundamental element of the tags is the emphasis placed on the quality of the landed catch and the maintenance of the quality through the supply chain. The bass which is line-caught looks good as it is immediately put in ice, which reduces the deterioration, and hasn’t been squashed in a trawler net.
(Picture: Tom Aikens, chef, approves of South East line-caught sea bass)
The tags bear an identifying number, individual to each of the participating fishing boats. A visit to www.southeastseafood.co.uk enables complete traceability of the bass with information about fishermen, their boats and the fishing methods they use.
Ted Legg, a Portsmouth based fisherman, supplies wholesalers on the coast and in London. He has seen demand go up since the introduction of the tagged species. He comments: “ We pride ourselves on taking good care of the fish, putting it immediately on ice when we have caught it. We have seen good prices for the fish and more importantly an increased demand.”
Thomas Wicker of Wicker Fish in London, wholesalers to the food service industry in London says: ”Customers these days want to know more and more where their food comes from and whether it is sustainable or not. We are keen to support the sector and not only offer fresh, local, identifiable fish but also educate our customers about sustainable seafood”
Henriette Reinders, project coordinator for South East Seafood comments: “Our aim with the tagged seafood was one: to lift the profile of seafood from the South East and two: to make fishermen focus more on high quality, sustainable species. Bearing in mind that most of our seafood gets exported to the French and Dutch, increasing the demand and profile of our own seafood in the UK will benefit us in the long run.”
The tagged sea bass will be joined by Selsey lobster and Hastings’ Dover sole in July.