• More than half of adults from Newcastle don’t know that fish species such as Dover sole (55%), herring (61%), or hake (76%) are caught in UK waters
  • Three in five (61%) say they would be more likely to buy seafood if it was caught in UK waters
  • Just over half (55%) of locals know that many fish and shellfish species are seasonal
  • Find your local retailers and fishmongers in new nationwide list directory of seafood stockists and suppliers – including retailers providing online delivery

Three in five adults in Newcastle (61%) would buy more seafood if they knew it was caught in UK waters. But many remain largely unaware that a lot of the fish found in their favourite dishes can be sourced locally.

This comes as fishermen across the UK have been hit hard by falling demand for fish from restaurants and exporters as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic and are now looking to sell more of this great product at home rather than overseas.

A study of 4,000 adults was carried out for the ‘Sea for Yourself’ campaign, an initiative supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Seafish, the public body that supports the UK seafood industry. It found that more than half (55%) of adults in Newcastle don’t know that Dover sole is found in UK waters, while three quarters are unaware that hake (76%) and herring (61%) are caught and farmed in UK waters.

And despite being a fish-loving city – 82% of Newcastle residents eat seafood at home as part of their diet – nearly two thirds (64%) say they don’t know how to prepare shellfish or find it difficult. Yet if they had the right skills to prepare and cook these species, 45% say they would for a special occasion.

The campaign is encouraging people in Newcastle to get more seafood-savvy by creating a nationwide list of seafood suppliers, making it easy to find a local retailer, local fishmonger or even fishers who deliver locally.

The campaign’s ‘Fish Is The Dish’ website is also sharing recipe inspiration and tips about how to prepare fish. And with just over half of adults in Newcastle (55%) knowing that, just like fruit and vegetables, fish are seasonal, the site also has lots of information about the wide variety of regional seafood that’s available throughout the year.

Fisheries Minister, Victoria Prentis, said: “During this challenging period, I know how hard our fishing communities are continuing to work to feed our nation. So why not help them by trying some of the great variety of seasonal fish that is caught every day.  

“By buying seasonally, whether directly from fishermen, a supermarket or your local fishmongers, you can play your part in supporting our great fishing industry.”

Mike Warner, Seafood Specialist and Seafish ambassador, said: “Buying seasonally-sourced fish and shellfish is a great way to get the best out of seafood. Right now, some of my favourite, seasonally-available species would be mussels, brown crab, hake and mackerel. These species are being caught (or harvested) in UK waters right now and are available for purchase either online or at independent fishmongers and stockists.”

Recognising the importance of helping fishing businesses find new ways to sell their catch while traditional markets are restricted, the UK Government recently launched a £1 million domestic seafood supply scheme in England to assist fishermen in selling their catch in their local communities.

To access the list of seafood suppliers across the UK, including those who are offering online deliveries, visit:  https://www.fishisthedish.co.uk/learn/how-to/where-to-buy

For more information about the health benefits of fish or to discover new recipes to try at home, visit: https://www.fishisthedish.co.uk/