Sutton Harbour Footbridge

The repairs to Sutton Harbour footbridge will continue for the coming weeks and residents and visitors to the waterfront area of Plymouth are advised that for safety reasons, the pedestrian footbridge will remain closed while the work completes.

Engineers from the Environment Agency are supporting Sutton Harbour Holdings (SHH) and using specialist testing equipment to carry out thorough checks of the footbridge’s turntable assembly, bearings and foundations.

The footbridge is a bespoke piece of equipment, fitted more than 20 years ago, and operates as an integral element of the Sutton Harbour lock gates.

The primary function of the lock gates is to reduce flood risk to the surrounding area of Sutton Harbour whilst still maintaining access for marine vessels using the harbour, therefore it is necessary for the lock gates to remain fully operational despite the footbridge repairs.

Pete Bromley, Harbour Master of Sutton Harbour, said: “We appreciate that the closure of the footbridge can be frustrating for people however we are working closely with the Environment Agency to resolve any problems.”

“Unfortunately, owing to the bespoke nature of the footbridge, this can be a time-consuming process and there can be no ‘quick fix’. The results from the recent testing are expected soon and this will give us a better understanding of the problems and the likely timescales for them to be rectified.  It is difficult to estimate timescales for reopening; however, when the footbridge bearing was previously replaced, the footbridge was closed for six weeks.”

An alternative route around the harbour from the National Marine Aquarium, Rockfish and Harbour Car Park to Sutton Harbour’s historic quarter, which includes the Barbican and the Mayflower Steps, is accessible via the Harbour Heritage Trail with a footpath circling around East Quay and North Quay (see map below).

 

French Students tour Plymouth Fisheries

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.

PLYMOUTH FISHERIES WELCOMES NEW ETHICAL FISHMONGER BUSINESS

A pioneering ethical fishmonger business helping to support local fishermen has opened its first hub in Plymouth.

Sole of Discretion launched at Plymouth Fisheries, the second largest fresh fish market in England based within a large, purpose-built complex in Sutton Harbour.

The business is a social enterprise dreamt up by acclaimed restaurateur Caroline Bennett, who opened the country’s first rotating sushi restaurant in London in 1994 which is still going strong.

Sole of Discretion was born out of a determination by Caroline to put more ethically sourced fish on restaurant menus – and to reward the fishermen who fish with environmental sensitivity, helping to protect the marine environment.

The initiative will operate as a Community Interest Company (CIC), with shares wholly owned by the fishermen. Individuals will be able to buy high quality, ethically sourced fish directly from the Sole of Discretion hub at Plymouth Fisheries, and fresh fish will be supplied to customers, including national restaurants. The company will work closely with the marine biology department at Exeter University and the science and engineering faculty at Plymouth University to support research.

The first secured customer is acclaimed nationwide food box provider Riverford, which has agreed an order for two tonnes of fresh fish a week.

Sole of Discretion founder Caroline Bennett said: “I’ve been actively trying to source good quality fish for my restaurants for years, and there are many good fishers out there, looking after the quality of their catch and fishing with environmental sensitivity.

“Yet they get the same market-driven prices as everyone else – and many are on the verge of giving up. On top of this, the mainstream supply chain can slow down the delivery of fish, and many fish counters can’t tell customers when their fish was landed, or by which boat – sometimes even in which country.

“Sole of Discretion will create a mechanism to financially reward the fishermen who are the best custodians of our seas, and we’ll get fresh, high quality fish dispatched or frozen within hours of the catch being landed. Sole of Discretion will put provenance, quality and fairness at the heart of its business model.”

 

After launching a successful Crowdfunder initiative to fund part of the first Sole of Discretion hub, Caroline’s aim is for more hubs to open at other UK locations, creating a nationwide collective of distribution channels for the inshore fishers.

Caroline said she chose Plymouth Fisheries as the location for the first hub for its great facilities on site, and because of the strong working relationships that the auction operator, Plymouth Trawler Agents (PTA), enjoys with the local fishermen.

Caroline Bennett said: “Plymouth Fisheries is a fantastic location and our unit is so close to the quayside and the auction room; the support I’ve had from the PTA and the fisheries team has been wonderful and I’m very excited to launch the business in Plymouth with the hope that it will eventually expand to the wider country.

“We’re not out to undermine the already excellent work that the PTA is doing; Plymouth is the best place in the country for fishermen to land and sell a catch.

“Sole of Discretion is an enterprise designed for the fishermen, and one of our biggest aims is to take the fluctuation out of fishing; one day a fishermen can get a good price for a catch, the next day a bad price. I want to take that away. Only time will tell if we will succeed and whether fishermen feel working with us enhances their income, or if they would rather go to auction – I appreciate what we’re suggesting goes against the grain of years of inherited practice.

“But as the fishermen working with the business will also own the company, they will also earn money in dividends, and this will hopefully be of benefit to the fishermen themselves, as well as to the customers and to the environment.”

Sole of Discretion started trading at the end of April, and customers will be welcome to visit the hub, based at Unit 5 of Plymouth Fisheries in Fish Quay, from mid-May, once chillers are installed in the building.

Plymouth Fisheries has revitalised the region’s fishing industry since the complex was built in Fish Quay 21 years ago by owners and operators Sutton Harbour Holdings plc.

Now the second largest fish market in England, Plymouth Fisheries sustains more than 600 direct and indirect jobs and contributes £22.6million a year to the city’s economy, selling more than 6,000 tonnes of fish every year.

Pete Bromley, Harbour Master and Manager of Plymouth Fisheries, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sole of Discretion to Plymouth Fisheries to complement the range of fishmongers and fish merchants based in the complex.

“Since we opened 21 years ago, Plymouth Fisheries has been passionate about supporting the fishermen and the fishing industry, and we work in close partnership with Plymouth Trawler Agents to ensure the fisheries is the best place in the country to land and sell a catch, with a passionate commitment to ensuring our fishermen can get the best possible price for the fish they land, and a fair deal.

“Sole of Discretion will offer something new to both the fishermen and the customer, and we wish the business well as it becomes established in Plymouth.”

SUTTON HARBOUR LOCK GATES TO BE REPAIRED

Repairs to the lock gates at Sutton Harbour in Plymouth will begin next month and continue into March.

Part of the seal was damaged last year when the lock gates were struck by a vessel, and following dive surveys undertaken to assess the damage, a schedule for the necessary repairs has now been agreed.

Work will start on Monday 15th February with a conclusion planned for March 15th, depending on progress. Repairs will be carried out between 8am and 6pm each day, including weekends.

Boats will only be able to enter and leave Sutton Harbour during published freeflow times within this period, subject to weather and technical conditions.

The lock gates will be closed to all traffic on February 26th, 27th and March 4th for specialist work to be carried out.

Harbour users have been notified of the repair dates and are being asked to monitor the Sutton Harbour Holdings website and social media feeds in case of any alternations to the planned schedule.

There may be some interruptions for pedestrians using the footbridge crossing the lock gates during this period should crane work be required as part of the repairs on the south gates.

Pete Bromley, Harbour Master of Sutton Harbour, said: “Unfortunately, impacts like this collision can happen in a busy harbour, and it is necessary to repair the damage caused to the lock gates to ensure they remain fully operational. We have organised a schedule for repairs which aims to minimise any disruption to harbour users as much as possible.”

The repairs will be overseen by the Environment Agency, which has joint maintenance responsibility for the bridge and lock gates with harbour owner and operator Sutton Harbour Holdings plc.

You can view the Lock Freeflow guides http://www.suttonharbourmarina.com/lock-freeflow-guide/

For full updates throughout February and March, please visit www.suttonharbourholdings.co.uk or follow @ExperienceSH on Twitter.

Rare fish caught off South Devon coast to join Plymouth Museum collection

An extremely rare fish landed at Plymouth Fisheries is destined to be preserved as a specimen in the city’s museum.

 

                                                               Doug Herdson  and Harbour Master Pete Bromley

                                                               Doug Herdson  and Harbour Master Pete Bromley

Local beam trawler Our Miranda caught the 440 gram comber on November 16th whilst fishing off Start Point on the South Devon coastline and landed it at Plymouth Fisheries in Sutton Harbour, the second largest fresh fish market in England, where staff spotted it was unusual and contacted rare fish expert Doug Herdson. 

Doug Herdson, a fish and fisheries biologist and author based in Plymouth, said: “I go down to the fish market regularly to see what is being caught so I can keep up to date on what’s happening with various species to give me an understanding of fish distribution and fish stocks, and Nick at the fish market found this comber in a catch so I went down to check it out.

“It’s a very rare specimen and the first one I have ever seen myself; these fish are a fairly obscure species and generally only found in warmer waters, so it’s really unusual for one to turn up off the Devon coast, and an exciting find for Plymouth.”

The comber is a species of fish belonging to the Serranidae family, the same family as the better-known grouper, which grow to a much larger size. The comber is generally found off south and west Africa, in the Mediterranean and out to the the Azores, as it is an East Atlantic species, and only about 50 have turned up in British and Irish waters in the last 150 years.

The largest comber ever found in UK waters was caught in Mounts Bay, Cornwall in 1977 and weighed 822 grams; more recently, a smaller specimen turned up in a crab pot off Mevagissey in June 1996.

Doug added: “The comber landed in Plymouth was 440 grams which is about normal size. I contacted the National History Museum which was happy to take the specimen but they already had a few there so it was agreed the fish would go instead to Plymouth Museum, which didn’t already have any combers, and they were delighted as it is an unusual fish to add to the museum’s collection.”

Pete Bromley, Manager of Plymouth Fisheries, said: “The comber is an uncommon fish and a very rare find in British waters; we were very happy for Doug to organise for this specimen to find a home in Plymouth Museum, so people living locally will be able to see it for themselves.

“Combers never get especially big, and this one was of average size. They would make perfectly good eating but they are too small to make much of a meal usually.”

VIP VISIT TO PLYMOUTH FISHERIES TO VIEW THE RESULT OF £1.2M ICE PLANT INVESTMENT

Plymouth Fisheries has showcased its ice production facility completed as part of a £1.2million project to support the region’s vital fishing industry to some of the organisations which helped to secure funding for the scheme.

The ice plant unveiled this spring at England’s second largest fresh fish market based in Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour is part of an ongoing £1.2m investment in the complex by owners Sutton Harbour Holdings plc, and has been part-funded by grants totaling more than £500,000 from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF), administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

Senior officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the MMO and the programme monitoring committee for the European Fisheries Fund and its successor, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), visited Plymouth Fisheries on Thursday 19th November to see the completed development and learn more about plans for the future.

A group of 22 people including officials from Defra’s EMFF Policy team, the EMFF UK Managing Authority, UK Co-ordinating Body and the MMO were joined by representatives from the Association of Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authorities, Cornwall Fisheries Local Action Group, Seafish, National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, British Port Authority and British Trout Association for the visit, which was hosted by the Manager of Plymouth Fisheries, Pete Bromley.


After touring the ice plant facility, the visitors were taken on a boat trip before returning to Sutton Harbour for lunch and a short presentation by Sutton Harbour Holdings Chief Executive Jason Schofield on future plans for the fisheries complex and the area’s regeneration.

Michelle Willis, MMO Chief Finance Officer who has responsibility for overseeing both the UK and England European Fisheries Fund (EFF) programme, said: “It is always great to be able to visit places like Plymouth Fisheries and see the difference funding from the European Fisheries Fund can make to the fishing industry.

European funding provides a vital link to fishing communities and it is rewarding to see the change it is making to peoples’ lives.”

The ongoing £1.2million investment in Plymouth Fisheries has enabled a new ice plant to be created at the fisheries complex to guarantee the provision of ice on site 24 hours a day, offering an essential service to the region’s fishermen.

A further £30,000 is being invested in updating facilities at the fisheries complex, including a major upgrade of the external lighting systems.

Pete Bromley, Harbour Master and Manager of Plymouth Fisheries, said: The entire fishing industry depends on a constant supply of ice so it was vital that Plymouth Fisheries replaced the old plant to meet the needs of fishermen using the complex.

“We were delighted to welcome senior officials from the MMO and Defra who secured the European Fisheries Fund grants which have helped to make this investment possible, and to show them around the completed chill chain project which includes the ice plant, a brand new chiller, and the complete refurbishment of existing chiller facilities. The addition of a second chiller has increased fish handling capacity by around 50 per cent.”

Plymouth Fisheries has revitalised the local fishing industry since the purpose-built complex was opened in Fish Quay by Sutton Harbour Holdings plc 20 years ago.

Now the second largest fish market in England, a recent independent report revealed that Plymouth Fisheries supports 565 jobs and contributes £22.6million a year to the city’s economy. 

Jason Schofield, Chief Executive of Sutton Harbour Holdings plc, said: Plymouth Fisheries is committed to supporting the region’s fishing industry and doing anything we can to improve the service we provide to local fisherman to help this industry grow and thrive.

“The EFF grant was instrumental in helping to fund the much-needed new ice plant, which will transform the facilities we can offer in Sutton Harbour and enable Plymouth’s fish market to strengthen its already impressive national position, and we were proud to showcase the results of this investment to those who helped make this project possible.”

Sutton Harbour generates £28m a year for city economy

Marine related businesses in and around Plymouth’s historic Sutton Harbour support more than 770 jobs and pump £28 million a year into the local economy, according to a new independent report.

And next May’s prestigious Transat single-handed yacht race – which will use Sutton Harbour as its base – could generate over £110,000 a day in additional spending from visitors to the city, based on previous events.

The figures are contained in a report drawn up by national development and infrastructure consultants Peter Brett Associates.

They were appointed to look at the economic value of Sutton Harbour’s fishing and marina activities to the Plymouth economy, and the potential spin-off benefits of staging events like the Transat and the annual Classic Boat Rally in the Harbour.

The study was commissioned by Harbour owners Sutton Harbour Holdings plc, which owns and operates Plymouth Fisheries and The Marina at Sutton Harbour.

It shows that Plymouth Fisheries, which includes the second biggest fish market in England, supports 565 jobs and contributes £22.6 million a year to the city’s economy. The Marina supports a further 205 jobs in Plymouth and contributes £5.6 million every year.

The report also assesses the potential impact of high profile one-off events like the Transat and finds that it could generate up to £1.1 million of additional spending (excluding residents), or more than £110,000 a day based on a 10-day event. Such spending supports many of the restaurant, retail and accommodation jobs around Sutton Harbour.

Jason Schofield, chief executive of Sutton Harbour Holdings plc, said: “Sutton Harbour is where the city of Plymouth started and this report shows the enormous contribution that the Harbour makes to the economy of Britain’s Ocean City, and how quality events can attract significant visitor spend.

“The Harbour and the waterfront are real economic drivers. Our own vision for Sutton Harbour shows how using 12 redundant sites for homes, offices, shops, hotels and restaurants could attract £75 million of construction investment and support a further 900 jobs and add £34 million to Plymouth’s economy every year.

“Plymouth’s spectacular waterfront is its biggest asset and Sutton Harbour is right at the heart of it. We want to work with our partners in the city to realise this potential, cementing its reputation as a destination of regional importance and national significance.”

The report was officially unveiled at a Plymouth Chamber of Commerce breakfast event at the National Marine Aquarium and its findings are being circulated to hundreds of stakeholders across the city this week.

Sutton Harbour Holdings plc is hoping to accelerate its investment in Plymouth’s waterfront by realising an acceptable value from its interest in the former airport site in the north of the city.

The Company recently published research from economic research consultancy Regeneris showing how the redundant airport site could meet 10% of the city’s housing need, create hundreds of full-time jobs and generate tens of millions of pounds for the economy every year. It could also create a one-off windfall for Plymouth City Council in excess of £50 million because of the council’s freehold interest.

Sutton Harbour Holdings plc is seeking to have the former airport site included in the Plymouth Plan as a regeneration site that could make a significant contribution to Plymouth’s economy.

UNIVERSITY STUDENTS UNCOVER PLYMOUTH'S FISHING HERITAGE

Students from Plymouth University’s Faculty of Business enjoyed a chance to see behind the scenes at England’s second largest fresh fish market when Plymouth Fisheries hosted two private tours.                               

Two groups of 17 students visited Plymouth Fisheries on consecutive days for an early morning tour hosted by Manager Pete Bromley to help them learn more about the fisheries hub of the South West, and how it has helped to revitalise the region’s fishing industry since it relocated to custom-built premises on the eastern side of Sutton Harbour 20 years ago.

The students have recently started their first year at Plymouth University studying logistics, supply chain and shipping degrees.

Dr Chukwuneke Okorie, a Senior Personal Tutor at Plymouth Graduate School of Management based at Mast House in Sutton Harbour and a Lecturer in International Logistics for Plymouth University, said: “We wanted to introduce our students to some of the core Plymouth heritage industries relevant to their studies. We want to ensure they also have an overview of the fish supply chain, and how Plymouth is a key player.

“The visits were very informative and interesting in understanding how Plymouth contributes significantly to the cold supply chain in the UK, European Union and worldwide, and we received very positive feedback from the students. The visits to Plymouth Fisheries were also well in line with our strategic focus to engage with businesses and expose our students to potential opportunities in Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City.”

The students visited Plymouth Fisheries at 6.30am on October 6th and 7th and were given a tour by Manager Pete Bromley, who explained how the fish market operates, with the daily fish auction managed by Plymouth Trawler Agents.

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.

Pete Bromley, Manager of Plymouth Fisheries, said: “The fishing industry is vital for the Westcountry economy, and as a result of the investment in Plymouth Fisheries and our work to support the region’s fishermen, the city’s fish market is now an integral part of the national and international supply chain.

“We believe in doing everything we can to help the fishing industry in the South West to thrive and part of that involves educating people about how the industry works, so we are always happy to organise private tours to help students learn more about the fish supply chain and see the market in action.”

The tour follows a visit in July from year 7 students from Plymouth School of Creative Arts to help them learn about the fishing industry as part of a culinary arts project.

The fish market is owned and operated by Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc, and turnover has increased dramatically since the company invested in relocating the market to its current, purpose-built base in 1995. Last year, Plymouth Fisheries reported record landings with a catch value of £19.4million.

Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc has supported an ongoing £1.2million investment in the facilities this year, and a new ice production facility was unveiled in April to guarantee the provision of ice 24 hours a day.


NATIONAL SEAFOOD WEEK

National Seafood Week, launched by Seafish provides the focus to celebrate the very best that seafood has to offer and get us to start eating more fish in our every day diets. With over 100 types of seafood available to buy in the UK on any given day we have a lot to celebrate!

During the week Plymouth Fisheries will be exploring the health benefits of eating more fish. We will be posting ideas, tips and facts for you to share and enjoy.

As part of the week, and to help with encouraging consumer to buy, eat and experiment with seafood dishes, Selfish have also published the following guides.

Cooking seafood: Grilling, frying, poaching; there are many options to choose from when it comes to cooking your perfect fish fillet, but preparing seafood is delightfully simple. Have a look at some preparation tips, cooking ideas and recipes here > http://www.seafish.org/eating-seafood/cooking-seafood 

 

National Seafood Week at Plymouth Fisheries

Seafood can really help our bodies to stay fit and healthy. In fact, experts recommend that we try to eat two portions of seafood a week - but why is it so good for us? It's jam-packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals that help to keep our bodies in shape and an excellent source of Omega-3, a very important fatty acid that our bodies can't produce on their own. On our social media pages all week, we will be looking at the health benefits with 10 special shareable infographics. But you can find more information here too > http://www.seafish.org/eating-seafood/seafood-for-health


For more information and facts, Selfish have produced a special Seafood Guide, a comprehensive 64-page guide to fish and shellfish available in the UK with information on species, sustainability, traceability, recipes and techniques > http://www.seafish.org/eating-seafood/the-seafood-guide

Don’t forget that you can come along to Plymouth Fisheries and see what we do here for yourself, you can also purchase fresh fish straight from some of the traders based here. For more information have a look at the following pages >

Scallop season success for fishing fleet

The South West’s fishing industry is enjoying one of the best King Scallop seasons for many years, with the local economy boosted by the number of visiting vessels from ports across the UK.

Plymouth Fisheries, the second largest fresh fish market in England, has reported a record number of visiting scallopers in recent months, as vessels journey to the region to take part in this seasonal bonanza.

Pete Bromley, Manager of Plymouth Fisheries, said: “The King Scallop is the mainstay of the UK fishing industry, and the South West is having an especially strong season, one of the best for years.

“Over the years, this has proved to be a well-managed fishery and stocks remain healthy, so with no quotas on King Scallops, skippers can generally land as many as they like.”

Stock levels for King Scallops are protected by effort control for larger vessels and a minimum landing size rather than quotas, and unlike most fish, small scallops can survive being caught and returned back into the sea quite easily.

Pete added: “The larger, more powerful vessels are restricted to the number of days each year that they can fish for scallops, and there are various seasonal closed areas on the inshore grounds around the coast which prevent overfishing by the smaller boats.”

Spawning of the King Scallop (Pectin Maximus) takes place between April and September, and their value is at its highest when the scallops have a full roe, which is easily identified as a bright orange appendage clearly visible when the shell is opened.

Plymouth Fisheries is a key fisheries hub for the South West, sustaining over 600 direct and indirect jobs, and fish landed at other ports across Devon and Cornwall is often transported to be sold in Plymouth.

The fish market, owned and operated by Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc, has seen turnover increase since the complex relocated to custom-built new premises in Sutton Harbour in 1995, and enjoyed record landings in the last year with a catch value of £19.4million, compared to £17.3million in 2014.

Fishy tour for Plymouth students

Pupils from a Plymouth secondary school got up extra early to see behind the scenes at England’s second largest fish market as part of a culinary arts project based on the food industry.

Plymouth Fisheries organised a private tour for a group of nine Year 7 students aged 11 and 12 years old from the Plymouth School of Creative Arts to support the school’s current work focused on the food supply chain. The students, and the school’s Director of Culinary Arts, arrived at the fisheries complex in Sutton Harbour at 7am on June 30th for an early morning visit to see the fish market in action under the guidance of Plymouth Fisheries Manager Pete Bromley.

Andrew Nunn, Director of Culinary Arts at Plymouth School of Creative Arts, said: “The tour was excellent and we are so grateful to Pete Bromley and Plymouth Fisheries for organising it, as it was such a beneficial addition to our work about the food industry.

“The students loved seeing fish which had been landed that morning, including a conger eel and a monkfish with its head still on, and there was a lot of onward discussion afterwards which supported our work about food sourcing and the supply chain.”

The year group at the creative arts school has been engaging in a lively programme of food-based activities in recent weeks, including a trip to Roscoff for 110 pupils earlier this month to experience the culture of France, and source typically French ingredients.

Once back in Plymouth, year 7 students baked a French-style sour country loaf, and learnt how to make Bouillabaisse, a traditional Provencal fish stew. The trip to Plymouth Fisheries helped students learn more about the fish supply chain, and a few days later, the group bought the fish they needed to make their Bouillabaisse from fishmongers Moby Nicks, which is based at the fisheries, before making the stew to serve at a school celebration event.

Pete Bromley, Manager of Plymouth Fisheries, said: “We were happy to help support the school with this special project and to host a private tour for the students so they could learn more about the fish supply chain, and see the market in action in the early morning when it is at its busiest.

“Plymouth Trawler Agents which manages the auction at the fish market were also kind enough to let us show the students around the auction room so they could witness the online electronic auction taking place live that morning.”

The collaboration is the second time Plymouth Fisheries has linked up with the Plymouth School of Creative Arts, after students and staff helped the fish market to mark its 20th anniversary by designing an elaborate commemorative cake for the celebrations in February.

Plymouth Fisheries is a key fisheries hub for the South West, sustaining over 600 direct and indirect jobs, and fish landed at other ports across Devon and Cornwall is often transported to be sold in Plymouth.

The fish market, owned and operated by Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc, has seen turnover increase since the complex relocated to custom-built new premises in Sutton Harbour in 1995, and record landings in the last year with a catch value of £19.4million, compared to £17.3million in 2014.

Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc has supported an ongoing £1.2million investment in the market facilities to support the region’s fishing industry, and this April, a new ice production facility was unveiled on site to guarantee the provision of ice 24 hours a day.

Fishy tour for Plymouth Students

Pupils from a Plymouth secondary school got up extra early to see behind the scenes at England’s second largest fish market as part of a culinary arts project based on the food industry.

Plymouth Fisheries organised a private tour for a group of nine Year 7 students aged 11 and 12 years old from the Plymouth School of Creative Arts to support the school’s current work focused on the food supply chain. The students, and the school’s Director of Culinary Arts, arrived at the fisheries complex in Sutton Harbour at 7am on June 30th for an early morning visit to see the fish market in action under the guidance of Plymouth Fisheries Manager Pete Bromley.

Andrew Nunn, Director of Culinary Arts at Plymouth School of Creative Arts, said: “The tour was excellent and we are so grateful to Pete Bromley and Plymouth Fisheries for organising it, as it was such a beneficial addition to our work about the food industry.

“The students loved seeing fish which had been landed that morning, including a conger eel and a monkfish with its head still on, and there was a lot of onward discussion afterwards which supported our work about food sourcing and the supply chain.”

The year group at the creative arts school has been engaging in a lively programme of food-based activities in recent weeks, including a trip to Roscoff for 110 pupils earlier this month to experience the culture of France, and source typically French ingredients.

Once back in Plymouth, year 7 students baked a French-style sour country loaf, and learnt how to make Bouillabaisse, a traditional Provencal fish stew. The trip to Plymouth Fisheries helped students learn more about the fish supply chain, and a few days later, the group bought the fish they needed to make their Bouillabaisse from fishmongers Moby Nicks, which is based at the fisheries, before making the stew to serve at a school celebration event.

Pete Bromley, Manager of Plymouth Fisheries, said: “We were happy to help support the school with this special project and to host a private tour for the students so they could learn more about the fish supply chain, and see the market in action in the early morning when it is at its busiest.

“Plymouth Trawler Agents which manages the auction at the fish market were also kind enough to let us show the students around the auction room so they could witness the online electronic auction taking place live that morning.”

The collaboration is the second time Plymouth Fisheries has linked up with the Plymouth School of Creative Arts, after students and staff helped the fish market to mark its 20th anniversary by designing an elaborate commemorative cake for the celebrations in February.

Plymouth Fisheries is a key fisheries hub for the South West, sustaining over 600 direct and indirect jobs, and fish landed at other ports across Devon and Cornwall is often transported to be sold in Plymouth.

The fish market, owned and operated by Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc, has seen turnover increase since the complex relocated to custom-built new premises in Sutton Harbour in 1995, and record landings in the last year with a catch value of £19.4million, compared to £17.3million in 2014.

Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc has supported an ongoing £1.2million investment in the market facilities to support the region’s fishing industry, and this April, a new ice production facility was unveiled on site to guarantee the provision of ice 24 hours a day.

Rare fish turns up in Plymouth bait box

A highly unusual fish turned up at Plymouth Fisheries this week when the rarely caught boarfish, also known as a Zulu fish, was landed in a bait box by a local trawler.

The small, orange-coloured fish are not endangered but are not often seen in local waters and rarely caught, so the appearance of this Zulu fish at Plymouth Fisheries was a surprise for those working at the market in Sutton Harbour.

Pete Bromley, Manager of Plymouth Fisheries, explains: “Bait is landed by trawlers as part of their catch and is made up of small or unsaleable fish which is caught unintentionally, as well as sometimes rough dogs, ray backs or gurnards. Trawling is a fairly random method of catching and not species specific, so unsaleable fish picked up by accident are usually sold as crab bait to boost income, rather than waste the fish.”

The diminutive boarfish, more commonly known to South West fishermen as the Zulu fish, is usually only about 15-20cm long, thick-skinned and spikey.

Pete added: “Most people would think this little chap would be pretty inconsequential in the great scheme of things but the Zulu is not quite so humble. It only offers a very small amount of meat so it poses a host of problems for potential processors, and would usually fit in the ‘too difficult box’ but unfortunately for the Zulu, fishermen are forever resourceful and these small fish are now caught specifically for use as fishmeal, with a total allowable catch set by the EU for 2015 of 53,296 tonnes.

“Boarfish are a specifically targeted species and have become a valuable fishery, especially for the Southern Irish fleet. Living mostly on the continental shelf to the West of Ireland in deep, inhospitable waters, it is very unusual to see one on a fish market, and so finding one mixed in with a box of crab bait at Plymouth Fisheries was a bit of a surprise.”

“Improvements in technology mean that more efficient use can be made of low-end fish not ideally suited to human consumption, and the humble Zulu can be processed to produce high-end proteins, oils and calcium for use as food ingredients, as well as lower grade meal for feed and fertiliser.”

 

Giant turbot landed at Plymouth Fisheries

This giant turbot was landed at Plymouth Fisheries in Sutton Harbour on May 29th by local inshore netter the Carly Ann, which caught the fish in its nets.

The Turbot weighed 15.5 kg! The British record for a turbot caught on rod and line was set in 1980 with a fish of 13.6kg captured off Salcombe in Devon, and a 15kg turbot was landed in Brixham in October 2014. The average weight for a turbot is around 8kg.

The giant turbot landed in Plymouth was sold through the market to Rob Goodacre of RG Seafoods based in Torpoint, which also purchased the giant conger eel landed in Plymouth recently. The fish was then sold to The View restaurant in Whitsand Bay.

Rob Goodacre said: "This was an enormous fish, and bought by The View to make more than 30 portions of turbot to serve in its restaurant."

Plymouth Fisheries Manager Pete Bromley said: "Records relate to fish caught by rod and line and not commercial fleets, but this was certainly an impressive fish and of a very large size. It would usually command a very high price but unfortunately this is the season when the netting fleet target turbot, which are abundant at this time of year, and as always, oversupply can affect price. Turbot can also be damaged when they are caught in nets, bruising the flesh, so not all of it is useable.

"Turbot are considered to be one of the finest fish available to eat, and can be found gracing the menus of some of the best restaurants. One factor determining the price of all fish is the fillet yield, and turbot have one of the lowest, with the fillet to waste ratio being as low as 35 to 40 per cent. The high value of the species has led to some quite intensive farming, and farmed fish have an even lower yield.

"There is often a debate over fresh run and farmed fish but in my opinion, the beauty of the turbot is its huge strength, born out of a lifetime of hunting and surviving in the wild, so I don't believe farmed turbot produce the same quality of flesh."

Volunteer on the Water of Britain's Ocean City

June the 1st to 8th is National Volunteer’s Week, an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. It is used to showcase different volunteering roles on offer, to volunteer recruitment events, launching new volunteering campaigns and to highlight events take place throughout the country. 

Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City is full of the most fantastic volunteering opportunities and so many of them are there to get young people on and in the water. So we thought that we would make a list of these opportunities so that, if you have time to volunteer, you might be inspired to help out one of the very deserving charities and organisations. 

If you can think of one that should also be included in this list, then please let us know and we will add it.

Plymouth and Devon Schools Sailing Association

http://www.pdssa.org/index.html

Plymouth and Devon Schools Sailing Association is a not for profit volunteer organization that offers kayaking and powerboat courses. Based at Commercial Wharf on the Barbican, Plymouth Sound provides a great teaching environment for all levels of tuition.  

They are an RYA Recognised Training Centre and AALA Licensed and offer a range of activity sessions that can either be used as; one off taster / introductory sessions, weekly sessions or multi activity weeks.  

The PDSSA is entirely dependent on volunteers who deal with everything from maintaining the equipment and instructing the youngsters through to being on the committee. Whatever your interest or background, if you’d like to volunteer to help the association then get in touch.

 

 

 

Horizons Plymouth – Children’s Sailing Charity

http://horizonsplymouth.org

  Horizons is a registered Children’s Sailing Charity that helps disadvantaged and disabled children from the inner city communities of Plymouth.  

The aim of their work is to provide learning and educational opportunities that increase self-confidence and improve social and practical skills, through water-based activities that would normally be beyond the means of these children. 

Every year they run over 3,000 individual sessions involving hundreds of young people aged 8 to 19  

The charity also provides an evening and weekend sailing club for local youngsters. Many are very local and walk straight from school. After some basic instruction, can enjoy recreational sailing using a variety of craft around the local area and in Plymouth Sound, with safety cover provided. 

Horizons currently has over 50 active volunteers who are essential to the charity and from all walks of life, from members of the public who became involved after showing interest in the charity, to parents, and of course children who have grown up with the charity and become volunteers. Volunteers perform many different roles at Horizons not just helping with the sailing side. The Friends of Horizons help with other aspects including fundraising, minibus driving and maintenance, and bring a whole range of skills to the charity, enabling it to improve and result in a better experience for the children taking part.

 

 

Plymouth Youth Sailing

http://www.plymouthyouthsailing.co.uk

 

Plymouth Youth Sailing is a young people’s club providing competency, safety, supervision and social activities in Plymouth Sound. It gives opportunities to disadvantaged people in the city to help break the cycle of deprivation and see beyond disadvantages.

The sessions are an activity outside of their normal area of life experience that heightens their self esteem, builds confidence and creates a sense of achievement and self worth.  

But the organisation can only deliver the extensive programme through assistance from volunteers, both adults and young people and currently delivers its objectives through one paid full time staff member and a pool of 25+ volunteers who come from the local areas and more are always welcomed.

 

Morvargh Sailing Project

http://www.morvargh-sailing.co.uk

 

Morvargh Sailing Project is a social enterprise, sailing from Sutton Harbour Marina in Plymouth, that provides residential Tall Ship sailing opportunities for young people aged 14-25.  

The Tall Ship ‘Helen Mary R’ delivers a wide range of sail training & educational programmes aimed to develop young people across a range of disciplines.  

Currently funraising to make some essential updates to the boat in order to get out sailing again, this is the perfect time to help them by donating your time and maybe even your pennies! 

When Helen Mary R is sailing, opportunities to give time to assist the permanent Skipper on voyages that range from evening taster sessions to our full six day youth leadership programmes are most welcomed. Volunteer Skippers, Mates, Watch Officers and Watch Leaders are the backbone of the project and without them they would not be able to operate. 

They are also currently looking for refit and maintenance volunteers with experience in diesel engines, painting & varnishing or electronics – as well as anyone keen to create fundraising opportunities.

 

Drake Sailing Club

https://drakesailingblog.wordpress.com

As part of the Royal Yachting programme, Drake Sailing Club provides the necessary support for people with disabilities to sail day boats and yachts within the sheltered waters of Plymouth Sound. 

All sailing is supported by two experienced volunteer sailors in each boat and up to two dedicated safety Boats are on the water throughout the session. These take place on Tuesday evenings at 5.30pm, from the Mount Batten Centre, May to September. 

They welcome enquiries from members of the public to become volunteers and no sailing experience is necessary. The season runs from May until September and each session lasts around 3 hours with no need to commit to every sailing evening.

 

 

 

 

 

The story of the conger eel at Plymouth Fisheries explained

A new photograph has emerged of the giant conger eel landed at Plymouth Fisheries yesterday (Thurs 14th May) which better conveys the length of the fish.

A picture of the 131lb  conger eel being hauled onto the quayside at the fisheries complex in Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour suggested it could be as long as 21ft. But Pete Bromley, Manager of Plymouth Fisheries, said the perspective in that photograph had been deceptive, and the eel was actually only about 7ft in length. A photograph taken by staff at the fisheries complex yesterday (attached here) offers a truer picture.

Pete Bromley, Manager of Plymouth Fisheries, said: “The perspective is out in the photograph of the conger being hauled onto the quay, making it look a lot longer than it actually was. This photo taken by our staff yesterday of the conger alongside another landed eel gives a better indication. The chap standing next to it is around 5ft 7inches tall, and we estimated the conger eel to be around 7ft in length. Our second photo showing it lying on a pallet also makes this clear, as this pallet is only 1m by 1.2m in size.

“This conger was still a very large fish, and unusual for our market. Conger does not have a great deal of commercial value today as prices have dropped, but this was an impressive fish, and a catch to make any angler’s day.”

The conger eel was caught up in the nets of the inshore trawler ‘Hope’ by accident, and already dead when it was brought on board. It weighed in at 59.5KG (131lb) gutted, and its total weight with guts would be about 155 to 160lbs. The current rod-caught record stands at 133lb 4oz.

The conger made about 70p per KG when it was sold at auction in Plymouth, earning a price of around £40.

Pete Bromley added: “Conger move to very deep water and die after spawning, so like all large congers caught off the South West approaches, this fish is likely to be an unspawned female. These large eels are generally found hiding in the many wrecks around the South West, or on reefs and rocky ground, but they do venture out to open ground in search of food, usually during neap tides or slack water. Despite their size and power, they are not very strong swimmers.”

 

 

Photo credits: Plymouth Fisheries