Encouraging UK consumers to eat domestic species will help the fishing industry Photo: James StrawbridgeEncouraging UK consumers to eat domestic species will help the fishing industry Photo: James Strawbridge

Fish lovers across the UK are being encouraged to explore lesser known species such as Cornish sole, known as megrim sole, and Cornish King crab, known as spider crab.

The consortium behind the project, which has secured funding from the UK Seafood Innovation Fund, is a collaboration between the Cornish Fish Producers’ Organisation and its marketing arm, Seafood Cornwall, Ocean Fish and Cornish chef and author, James Strawbridge.

Last year Seafood Cornwall launched #FishToYourDoor, a match-making service connecting Cornish fish merchants to would-be buyers across the nation. “The success of #FishToYourDoor throughout 2020 proved that there is a nationwide demand for convenient and fresh seafood,” said Paul Trebilcock, chief executive of CFPO and leader of Seafood Cornwall. “Now it’s about harnessing this appetite with underutilised species,” he added.

The study hopes to address the long-standing challenges of encouraging the consumption of lesser known species by using existing data and social science processes to assess how best to bring a bespoke product to market. Development chef, James Strawbridge, will be working in the Ocean Fish experimental kitchens, exploring product testing alongside the latest food trends.

The UK fishing industry has been dealt a harsh blow by Brexit reducing access to European markets. “Increased demand [for UK species] would allow fishermen to secure a better price for their catch and avoid exporting – a win-win for British fishermen in the wake of Brexit,” said Mr Trebilcock.

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