creels in lamlash

Eat & Shop Local during lockdown and beyond

In the current climate, with global restrictions enforced in a bid to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s economy is facing catastrophic damage.

A sector particularly affected in the UK is our fisheries. Practically overnight many fishing vessels were tied up in harbours, forced out of work as export markets became non-existent, borders closed and restaurants shut.

COAST has always been pro-sustainable fishing – encouraging people to ask questions as to where their seafood is coming from, and to shop around for local and sustainably caught alternatives to those pre-packaged, mass-caught products on supermarket shelves. Lockdown measures enforced by the UK Governments have encouraged many to look locally to source food to feed their families and support local suppliers during these turbulent times.

Arran Local

Here on Arran, one local Creel fisherman Ian Cusick – who fishes for Skipness based ‘Creelers’ – is taking weekly orders for all his usual catch, the only difference being it is sold on the island and not taken to fishmongers or markets on the mainland; Langoustines are available per kg (£13.50 Mixed / £15.50 v. large), Crab (£5kg) and Lobster (£18.50). All orders must be in by Thursday’s at 6pm for that weekend collection/delivery – call 01880 760 378 to prepay and order. Tim & Fran will get back to you asap if you leave your name and number on the answerphone.

Arran resident, Simon Ross-Gill has been just one of many locals who have picked up on this fantastic offer: “the joy of being able to buy seafood direct from a local fisherman has been one of the nice aspects in spite of this terrible crisis. I got a kilo of live langoustines – 24 in total, and I prefer to buy direct as not only does it cut down on the need for plastic packaging, refrigeration and processing, the taste of as-fresh-as-possible seafood is unsurpassable. I cooked them very quickly in boiling water and served with a garlic mayo made from locally foraged wild ransoms – it was exquisite. It also ensures all the money goes straight to the fisherman, who from the shore I actually saw catching the langoustines right before buying them. It’s great value for money.”

Further Afield

Across Scotland and the UK there are a number of different initiatives that we are aware of, who are promoting local seafood for dinner during the lockdown:

Fish Local by Open Seas: an illustration of Scotland’s seafood offering; where are things caught, where are they landed and what exactly is local sustainable seafood?

#LocalFishForDinner by the Blue Marine Foundation: how ordinary members of the public can buy top quality seafood.

Fish on a Friday: Fresh fish sales across the UK, a fresh approach to seafood. Their handy map helps you find the nearest fresh fish sales where you are. They also have a selection of wonderful recipes!

Fish is the Dish by Seafish: Sharing content on how consumers can buy fish and how to prepare and cook with unfamiliar species. They are also supporting DEFRA’s ‘Sea for Yourself’ campaign – an initiative to inspire the UK to cook and eat more seafood caught in UK waters.

Looking forward, COAST hope that having locally caught, fresh sustainable seafood landing on your plate every week inspires a habit that is continued in post-lockdown life.

Picture Credits:
Top: Jenny Stark.
Bottom L-R: COAST; Bryce Stewart; Jenny Stark