A group of French students enjoyed the opportunity to see behind the scenes at Plymouth Fisheries, the second largest fresh fish market in England, during a visit to Britain’s Ocean City this month.
Ten students aged 15 and 16 years old were visiting Plymouth from Brest as part of an Oceans and Sustainability ERASUMUS + Regio Brest-Plymouth project, organised in conjunction with Mayflower College and Plymstock School.
The students, along with their teacher Dominique Baron, visited the fisheries in Sutton Harbour for an early morning tour hosted by Manager Pete Bromley at 6.30am, when fish was being sorted and sold, ready to be delivered to buyers all over the country, with the daily fish auction managed by Plymouth Trawler Agents taking place on the first floor.
The visit helped the students to learn more about how Plymouth Fisheries has become a fisheries hub for the South West, and how it has revitalized the region’s fishing industry in the last two decades since the complex was relocated to custom-built premises on the eastern side of Sutton Harbour in 1995.
Jill Tyler, General Manager of Mayflower College, said: “This group of French students visiting Plymouth were very grateful to be given a personal tour by Pete Bromley so they could see behind the scenes at our city’s thriving fish market, and find out more about how Plymouth Fisheries operates.
“The fisheries is such an important asset for the city, and the visit offered a unique and essential window for our visiting students into how important the fishing industry is to our region, and how Plymouth Fisheries works to manage sustainability on a daily basis.”
Plymouth Fisheries sustains over 600 direct and indirect jobs and is the second largest fresh fish market in England today, with fish landed at other ports across Devon and Cornwall regularly transported to Plymouth to be sold.
The fisheries, which is owned and managed by Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc, contributes £22.6 million into the local economy. Turnover has increased dramatically since the fisheries relocated to its current base, with record landings of £19.4 million in 2014. Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc continues to invest in the complex, with a £1.2million project to install a new chill chain, including a new ice production plant, completed last year.
Pete Bromley, Manager of Plymouth Fisheries, said: “It’s important to educate people about how the fishing industry works, especially the next generation, and so we regularly welcome private tours for local colleges and schools to help students learn more about the fish supply chain and see the market in action.
“Plymouth Fisheries is passionate about supporting the region’s fishermen, and thanks to the investment in the fisheries in recent years, the complex has become a fisheries hub for the South West, so our role is especially important.”
The students visit to Plymouth Fisheries is one of a number of educational tours hosted by Pete Bromley and Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc to support ongoing education about the fishing industry to the next generation.
In recent months, the fisheries has hosted tours for business students from Plymouth University, as well as year 7 pupils from the Plymouth School of Creative Arts.