Whitby fights to save historic fish market – Fishupdate.com

Whitby fights to save historic fish market Published:  28 March, 2011

THE port authority in Whitby has said it is working hard to prevent the threatened closure of the town’s historic fish market.

The company which runs the 200-year-old market has indicated that it may close this summer due to a combination of falling supplies and a series of European Union restrictions.

But a spokesman for the Whitby Harbour Board, which is operated through Scarborough Council, told Fishupdate: “There is a possibility of closure, but it is by no means certain at this stage. We have a number of options which we are working on at the moment and hopefully we can come up with a solution over the next few weeks.”

The hope is that the market can continue under a different operation. Not that many years ago Whitby was a busy middle order North Sea fishing port. While never on the scale of Grimsby, its larger neighbour further south, it nevertheless provided a steady flow of high quality North Sea cod, haddock and sole- along with nearly 100 other different species.

Whitby is also a popular seaside resort and a large number of quality seafood restaurants and small fish processing businesses grew up around the market. The port regularly attracts celebrity seafood chefs including Rick Stein, who described one fish and chip shop, the Magpie Cafe, as the best of its type in Britain.

Last month the local newspaper, the Whitby Gazette, launched a campaign to save the UK fishing industry from potential destruction. The news about its fish market has added new urgency to that campaign and concerned members of the public are being invited to sign the Gazette’s “Fight For Our Fleet petition” which calls for realism to be put back into the fishing industry – or request one from chief reporter Alex Fredman by calling (01947) 829911. The paper plans to hand it into Downing Street and the European Parliament on behalf of the area’s fishermen.