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27.03.08
Cornish skippers visit Spanish markets

La Coruna MarketA group of Cornish skippers have returned from a study visit to Spanish fish markets, organised by Seafood Cornwall to explore the potential for new markets and to compare fish quality with that landed in Cornwall.

The skippers, Andy Giles, skipper/owner of the Looe based 'Guiding Light II', Barney Thomas, owner of Newlyn-based gill-netter 'Ajax' and Simon 'Sid' Porter, skipper of Newlyn-based gill-netter 'CKS' were accompanied on the three-day trip by Paul Trebilcock, Chief Executive of the Cornish FPO and Robert George, Seafood Cornwall Quality Adviser.

The group visited auction markets at Vigo, La Coruna and Ribbeira as well as visiting fish processing factories and local boat yards.

The trip was funded as part of Seafood Cornwall's programme to help maximise the value of fish landed in Cornwall, as Nathan de Rozarieux, Project Director, explains: "Cornwall's dependence on the export market to Spain has decreased slightly in recent years but the Spanish market remains vital for species like Megrim, Monk and Hake which are all landed in Cornwall, so it is important that we understand the needs and expectations of that market."

Since becoming established in 2004 Seafood Cornwall has worked closely with vessels catching Megrim and Hake to ensure that the quality landed is consistently high. This work appears to have put fish landed in Cornwall on a par with that seen in Spain. "Although the quality of some of the fish we saw was very good, it was certainly no better than the standard of the fish landed on Newlyn or Looe," commented Robert George, Seafood Cornwall's Quality Adviser.

The group was also very impressed by the market facilities at Vigo, the largest coastal fish auction market in Europe, which they were told provided employment for 5000 people. Paul Trebilcock of the Cornish FPO felt that Cornwall could learn from the Spanish approach to designing fish markets: "The markets we saw were fairly new and although not that exciting architecturally they were very well laid out," he said. He added that it was important to understand that fishermen and fish buyers were at the very heart of developing the infrastructure in Vigo and it was therefore run in a cost-effective manner ensuring maximum benefits for fishermen and buyers alike. Vessel owner Barney Thomas also felt that some lessons could be learnt from the Spanish. "We saw some very simple yet effective practices which could be implemented here at minimal cost," he said.

 Seafood Cornwall, an Objective One Fisheries Programme project, offers advice to industry on fish quality issues and is working to improve the marketing and promotion of fish and seafood.

For further information please contact Nathan de Rozarieux, Project Director, Seafood Cornwall, on 01736 874304/07870 154910 or email nathan@seafoodcornwall.org.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Seafood Cornwall through the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG).

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Editor's notes:

  • Seafood Cornwall, an Objective One Fisheries Programme project, offers advice to industry on fish quality issues and is working to improve marketing and promotion of fish and seafood.
  • Seafood Cornwall is based at the Cornwall Fisheries Resource Centre, 78b The Strand, Newlyn, contact Nathande Rozarieux, 01736 874304. For more information about the project visit www.seafoodcornwall.org.uk
  • Seafood Cornwall works with retailers and restaurants to promote the quality, abundance and diversity of seafood landed in Cornwall.
  • Seafood Cornwall has launched a quality award schemes for fishing vessels and fish processors to recognise high standards of fish quality being landed.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
The Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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