Weather hits Easter fish supplies –

Weather hits Easter fish supplies Published:  26 March, 2013

BAD weather has delayed the arrival of traditional Easter fish supplies from Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

The normal ferry services to Grimsby were delayed for up to 24 hours this week with just over 1,400 boxes available on Monday but somewhat more than 2,400 boxes due to go on sale at the regular auction today.

The severe gales, which have affected much of the British Isles over the last few days, are also thought to have restricted fishing operations off Iceland.

Although Holy Week does not carry the same religious following of a few decades ago, consumption of fish traditionally increases at this time of year with a corresponding rise in prices. But prices for popular species of white fish such as cod and haddock remain flat.

Steve Norton, chief executive of the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association, said: “We had some good supplies from Iceland last week, but the weather is affecting things in the run up to Easter.”He added: “Prices for fish at auction level are still very soft, so for consumers there should be some reasonable bargains in the shop this Easter.”

He added: “Holy Week was always a big occasion for the industry, but consumer buying habits are changing. People tend to eat seafood all year round now whereas at one time it was largely a Friday meal. Also many people now go away for Easter, either flying abroad or visiting families and relatives.”

A few weeks ago Grimsby launched a “Switch to Fish” campaign on the back of the horsemeat scandal with the message that there is one protein food the public can trust – and that was seafood. While there are signs that many people were turning to seafood as an alternative, Mr Norton it was still not affecting prices in any meaningful way.