The UK seafood market, now worth
2.72 billion, is up 5 per cent year on year in
value terms. This growth can be attributed
to consumers choosing niche species
such as pollock and seabass over more
Pollock, which has seen its sales increase by 151 per cent in the past year, received rave reviews last year from both Gordon Ramsay and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on their TV programmes. Seabass, a favourite of Mitch Tonks from Saturday Kitchen, has also seen sales rise by 12 per cent in the last year.
"As well as being sustainable and affordable, gurnards firm, white flesh lends itself to an array of dishes."
Michelin-starred chef, Tom Aikens
Phil MacMullen, Head of Environmental
Responsibility at Seafish, said: The recent
championing of sustainable seafood by
celebrity chefs and by retailers has
encouraged consumers to experiment with
the lesser-known varieties in their area. This
shows that consumers are becoming more
aware of the importance of responsible
sourcing. Choosing alternative species helps
to ease the pressure on stocks of more
From pilchards and sprats, popular in the south west, to langoustine in Scotland, and mussels and spider crab in Wales, all kinds of species are striking a chord with consumers, who appear to be looking for seafood thats both local and sustainable.
Retail sales of gurnard have risen from just 9,000 per year in 2007 to 273,000 in 2008 an increase of nearly 3000 per cent.
Michelin-starred chef, Tom Aikens, says: Gurnard is absolutely delicious and, most importantly, in plentiful supply. We have noticed a significant demand for gurnard at Toms Kitchen, as customers become increasingly savvy about the wide variety of fish available from UK waters.
As well as being sustainable and affordable, gurnards firm, white flesh lends itself to an array of dishes. Add to fish stews or simply grill or barbeque a good thick fillet for a great supper.
Squid, which is now appearing in UK waters, is also proving popular, with sales up 32 per cent compared with 2007.