Fishgate says: "We plan to stay" –

Fishgate says: “We plan to stay” Published:  11 March, 2008

HULL’S modern Fishgate market has signalled that it will be around for a long time to come – even if an international seafood exchange is built on the Humber.

The controversial £35million project was unveiled in Oslo last week and it has already caused deep divisions within Grimsby’s fishing industry.

But one of the suggestions is that the Humber Seafood Exchange, which will be built on a greenfield site just outside Grimsby, will eventually replace the two existing auction markets on the Humber.

However, a spokesman for Fishgate has rejected this, saying in a statement: “This is the first formal statement about a Seafood Exchange and we have yet to see any detailed plans or funding arrangements.

“It seems clear the Grimsby Docks area is to become the focus of commercial and possibly residential development rather than further fisheries activities but it is not easy to forecast the future range of facilities the Humber seafood industry will need.”

The spokesman added: “Responsible fishing, traceability and, above all, logistics are the current market drivers and here Fishgate has an experience and technical lead which it will retain for the foreseeable future.”

Backers of the project, say without the development the fish processing industry on the Humber will go into a slow decline. It pointed out that the Humber had 80 per cent of the UK frozen fish retail market and 80 per cent of the retailed chilled sector as well as the largest concentration of cold stores in the country.

North East Lincolnshire Council has been negotiating with the markets over the move, but Martin Boyers, chief executive of Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises, insisted last week that there was no fait accompli. No deal had been struck and certainly not one that had satisfied his board.

The plan also met stiff opposition from Grimsby fish merchants, vessel owners and fish transportation companies and Hull City Council leader Carl Minns has he would strongly oppose any move to shut the Hull auction market, pointing out it was symbolic of the port and city. 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.