THE prospect of regular Scottish fish supplies being sent to Grimsby moved a significant step closer today.
A delegation of Scottish skippers from Peterhead have just completed a two-day visit to the Humber port to explore a number of possibilities, including vessels landing directly in Grimsby during certain parts of the year.
Organised by Seafish, it was a return visit after one made by a Grimsby delegation to Peterhead last autumn.
The nine strong delegation included Skipper Jimmy Buchan who starred in the Trawlermen TV series a few years ago. He told Fish Update: ‘It has been an excellent visit. We are on a fact finding mission to build relationships.’
Buchan said there was a new confidence in the Scottish catching sector, with around 20 new boats on order. This was mainly due to lower fuel and landing costs and an abundance of fish in the North Sea.
Skipper ‘Sandy’ Mcleman said he had just taken delivery of one new boat and had another on order.
The catching sector was looking for new outlets for its fish and he was confident that Grimsby could play an important part in that, with Scottish boats landing during the spring and summer plaice season. But price would always an important factor.
The delegation was taken on a tour of Grimsby before an industry dinner. It then visited the fish market and, following the traditional smoked haddock breakfast, it left for a tour of Flatfish’s modern processing factory.
Martyn Boyers, chief executive of Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises, the company which runs the fish market, said it had been a fruitful visit.
‘I am pleased they were able to come to Grimsby and see things for themselves, and we will now be working together to further explore some of the possibilities we discussed.’
Steve Norton, chief executive of the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association, added: ‘While there is still some way to go, the whole visit was very positive.
‘Our message is that Grimsby is the gateway to the rest of the country for seafood. We have over four million potential customers just a few hours’ drive from here.’