Michelin Star Welsh chef supports new Welsh Fish campaign

12 August 2013

A Michelin star Welsh chef is putting his name to a brand new ‘Welsh Fish’ Campaign to promote and support the £8.4 million* fishing economy in Wales. 

Renowned chef, Bryan Webb, who runs Tyddyn Llan restaurant in Denbighshire, north Wales has joined forces with Cywain Fisheries**, a Menter a Busnes added value project, to raise the profile of Welsh fish. 

Caroline Dawson, Cywain Fisheries Development Manager explains: “From our research and discussions of the fish sector across Wales, there is a real gap in the supply chain with consumers not knowing where to access and source Welsh fish. Coupled with this is a lack of confidence in buying fish and knowing how to cook with this excellent Welsh product.

“There are huge health benefits from eating fish and there is a vibrant fisheries sector in Wales, albeit a small one.  Filling gaps in the supply chain, adding value to fish products and strengthening links and co-operation are some of our aims with this campaign.”  

3,088 tonnes of shellfish and 182 tonnes of other fish were caught across the north Wales coastline last year (2012). 

As a nation however, most of the fish caught in Wales is exported.  In 2010, Welsh vessels brought £8.43 million into the Welsh economy.  Of this however, only a small proportion of landed catch remained in Wales. 

Fish is landed in almost 40 different ports across Wales and across our coastline there is a wide range of fish species available from crab, lobster and prawn to scallops, mussels and oysters through to flat, round and oily fish such as mullet, sea bass, Pollack, lemon sole and mackerel.

Welsh food ambassador and chef, Bryan Webb from Tyddyn Llan said: “The image and concept of cooking and eating fish at home and at restaurants has changed over recent years. In Londonrestaurants over 10 years ago, 70% of the food served as a main course was fish. Welsh customers are catching on, but more needs to be done to educate people about fish. We also need much better access to Welsh fish. 

“Here at Tyddyn Llan some of our fish comes from all corners of Wales, but we, and other chefs and restaurateurs, would love to access more Welsh fish.  At this time of year, we serve lobster from Aberdaron and sea bass and turbot from south Wales.  Fish is so simple to cook, and tastes delicious.  My advice would be to keep it simple and try it.  I’m delighted to be supporting Cywain Fisheries in launching this campaign!”

The majority of boats in Wales are small, family run businesses.  One such owner is Huw Erith Williams and his family from Uwchmynydd near Aberdaron, Llŷn.  Huw catches lobster and crabs off Porth Meudwy on Llŷn’s coast as part of his small business, Ogof y Pysgodcregyn. The majority of the fish caught is sold direct to Tŷ Newydd, public house at nearby Aberdaron. 

Huw’s family has been fishing for a number of generations: “Fishing on Llŷn is a tradition; it’s a way of life.  There are only two fields from our home to the sea, so it is inevitable that fishing is part of our making.  I fish every day in season, and during the winter months I carry out some building work, repairs and maintenance.  My wife, Elen and I have six sons, three working at sea and three working locally.  I sincerely hope there will be a future for some of them in the business, once I retire.  Any campaign that supports the fishing industry in Wales should be praised,” Huw said. 

As part of the Welsh Fish campaign, a bilingual coloured fish information pack has been created (supported by ‘Seafish’), with names and specific images of fish listed, together with cooking tips.  As part of the package, a bilingual consumer poster guide to Welsh fish has also been carefully designed, together with tantalising recipe cards. 

Bryan Webb’s culinary skills were used to create all six of the in-depth bilingual recipes ranging from dressed crab on toast with brown crab pate to roast wild bass with Laver bread butter sauce. There are even recipe cards for kids so youngsters can cook at home and taste home-made fish meals. Adults will be able to assist younger family members to create plaice goujons and crispy crab pancakes as part of the campaign’s recipes.

The Welsh Fish campaign is the brainchild of Cywain Fisheries, a Menter a Busnes added value project.  It is funded through the European Fisheries Fund with match funding from the Welsh Government.  Cywain Fisheries gives companies and individuals unprecedented access to support, free expert advice and high quality business mentoring, making it easier for them to find new markets and better promote their services and products.

The Welsh Fish campaign will be launched at the Royal Welsh Show at Builth Wells (22-25 July 2013).  Cywain Fisheries will also be present at other events during the next few months promoting Welsh Fish including Pembrokeshire Fish Week, Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival, Denbighshire’s  National Eisteddfod, Sea to Shore Festival, Menai Seafood Festival, Anglesey Oyster and Produce Festival, Llangollen Food Festival and Conwy Feast

If you would like to access support from Cywain Fisheries email: cywainpysgod@menterabusnes.co.uk or call 01970 636565

 

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