Fish trade moves into festive gear –

Fish trade moves into festive gear Published:  11 December, 2007

BRITAIN’S fish supply trade is moving into the traditional and somewhat abnormal festive mode this week, according to M&J Seafoods, one of the country’s top fish food service suppliers.

Prices for the more popular types of fish eaten over the Christmas and New Year holiday such as salmon and shellfish are likely to rise, but there could be a fall in the price other varieties as demand drops off.

For many UK companies including Young’s, Seachill and Lyons Seafoods (part of the Alfesca Group) this is their busiest time of year as they take on extra staff to cope with demand.

M&J said in its regular market report that bad weather around the Scottish coast, coupled with Icelandic and other Nordic boats pulling up their nets in time for the holiday will have an impact on supplies over the next week or two. Most vessels will not return to the fishing grounds until after the New Year where, in the case of the UK, the 2008 quotas will begin.

Last year Grimsby Fish Market was open for two days between Christmas and New Year when trading was very busy. It is not yet known if there will be a similar market this year.

M&J said there was a possibility that the weather could also affect salmon harvests, but says it has enough fish to last through. Whatever happens, supplies of farmed salmon are likely to be in good shape this week, with prices remaining stable.

While supplies of large cod and codling from Scotland, Ireland, Denmark and Iceland are reasonable, prices remain high, but the situation for haddock was a little better and M&J said it had managed to secure haddock direct from the Faroes.

There is also a good supply of farmed halibut and turbot from a number of countries, but it is likely to be fairly expensive because of its popularity in restaurants at this time of year. But those looking for a bargain can find them with sea bass and bream, whose popularity tails off as Christmas approaches. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.