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.