Weather havoc on fish supplies widens –

Weather havoc on fish supplies widens Published:  20 March, 2007

FISHING activity off the Humber estuary and along the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire Coast is likely to be hit over the next two or three days because of bad weather.

The high winds and rough seas which have affected fishing around Iceland and the Yorkshire Coast have been brought to a standstill on a number of occasions in the last few months because of storms. This had led to a marked drop in fish supplies appearing on both the Grimsby and Hull markets since Christmas with the result that prices have remained high.

However, Grimsby had a slightly better market today with around 2,000 boxes, including 510 boxes from overland sources. Prices remained firm but haddock which reached a high £3.60 a kilo yesterday dropped to a more reasonable £2.60 a kilo level.

Now it seems that the gales, although less fierce than at Iceland, are causing problems further south. Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Coast fishermen have been by coastguards about weather problems and those with small boats have been particularly advised not to venture out.

The Environment Agency said some very big tides were expected over the next couple of days and it was keeping a close watch on the situation, especially over any possible flooding risks. They urged everyone to take special care. A similar warning went to ports like Bridlington and Scarborough in January, but the threat eventually passed off without any serious incidents.

It is not just the UK and Iceland which has been experiencing problems. South Africa has been suffering over the last few weeks, reports the food service company Brakes, and this has had an effect on the supply of hake and other species from the Southern oceans with only enough being landed to satisfy local markets. Brakes also said poor weather in the UK had been hampering salmon supplies.