Meet The Fishermen

Avocet Fishing Industry Tours

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Having spent many years now, researching our ports, harbours and the different elements of the fishing industry they support, I’ve noticed one common factor, that rises to the surface, no matter what the quarry species, vessel or gear type. As I’ve toured the coastline, talking to those involved in the capture and quayside sale or preparation of fish and shellfish, I’ve continually been made aware of a massive disconnect that exists with the end user. An all too often and disconcerting, dearth of consumer knowledge, but encouragingly coupled with an intense desire from the many chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and catering professionals I encounter, to learn more about the industry that constantly provides the source of inspiration for their menus.

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The UK Fishing Industry is seldom completely understood, often by many of those who purport to be among its greatest advocates. A complex, intertwined hybrid of different sectors, geography, species and methodology, its roots are nonetheless immersed in the same philosophy that transgresses the abundant seas and their diffuse boundaries, encircling our Isles. It undoubtedly centres around man’s ancient quest for wild food, brought industrially, but responsibly, into modern perspective by a tenacious, albeit dwindling, army of operatives, whose vocational passion for what they do, I’ve found unmatched in any other profession.

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I’m lucky enough to have built up an extensive network of hugely experienced contacts, within this most fascinating of industries and to assist in the critically important transfer of that “deck to plate” knowledge, to those wishing to learn more about Britain’s most dangerous peacetime occupation, I have decided to offer bespoke, guided fishing port tours, for those keen to unravel the mysteries of how seafood actually arrives at their tables. These inspirational, but ultimately educational visits, will focus primarily on the fishermen, the structure of their industry and its sustainability, so locally unique to the different coastlines that they operate from. I have designed the tours to demonstrate the tenets of sustainability, traceability, responsibility and seasonality and to offer my clients not only an in-depth study of our fisheries, at close quarters, but a revealing chance to learn from those who work at the coal face of the industry.

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The tours are aimed at chefs, restaurateurs, food service professionals, food writers and media organisations who believe that they’ll ultimately benefit from increased knowledge and understanding of our fisheries and about how wild UK seafood is produced.

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For example, a typical port tour would be for a two day duration and involve the following:

  • A visit to the local fish market and auction, with opportunity to talk to fish buyers, merchants and market staff.
  • A tour aboard a fishing vessel(s), representative of that particular port.
  • The opportunity to observe vessels landing their catch.
  • The chance to talk with fishermen of different sectors and their crew about their work.
  • A visit to a fish processor to observe first hand, the route the catch takes from the auction floor onwards.
  • A walking, guided tour of the port and harbour facilities.
  • Lunch and/or dinner at a renowned local seafood establishment.

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The package to also include:

  • All accommodation, travel and expenses.
  • A structured, but flexible itinerary.
  • Specific areas of interest catered for.
  • Interviews arranged and PR opportunities.
  • Social media engagement
  • Photography and post-tour creative PR content, if desired.

Tour venues for 2017 to include:

  • Peterhead (Scotland) – The UK’s premier white fish port and industry flagship.
  • Brixham (Devon) – The iconic, modern and progressive mixed fishery and beam trawler port.
  • Newlyn (Cornwall) – The historic and most Westerly multi-species/sector harbour and fishery.
  • Billingsgate (London) * – The emblematic market that has served London’s fish trade since the 1600’s

*Usually an early morning visit followed by breakfast.

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  • Dates can be flexible to suit all requirements and the tours tailored to meet individual needs.

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  • As the tours are entirely bespoke, a quote on application will be provided, following a discussion.

Notes

  • Clients must be aware from the outset, that the locations described are wholly industrial working environments, often with strict Health & Safety protocols to be observed. If necessary, PPE (personal protective equipment) will be issued on the advice of the local Harbour Authority, following a suitable Risk Assessment.
  • If you are interested in exploring and learning more about this most fascinating bastion of wild food production, then please do contact me. I’ll be delighted to chat.

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Mike Warner
email: eastcoastavocet@gmail.com
phone: 07885 287160