Grimsby sends back fish to Iceland

IN a new twist on the old ‘Coals to Newcastle’ saying, a delegation left Grimsby today taking fish back to Iceland. And it is fish that was almost certainly caught by Icelandic trawlers around the country.

As part of a UK Trade and Industry drive to sell more British commodities to Iceland, Steve Norton, chief executive of the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association, has taken with him a consignment of the town’s traditional smoked haddock, which now has European PGI status.

It is hoped that Icelandic supermarkets may start selling this famous seafood delicacy next year. He said Stuart Gill, the UK Ambassador to Iceland, who has made a number of visits to Grimsby, in the past 18 months, was keen to promote trade between the two countries.

‘We know that Icelanders like smoked fish, so I am taking some along and chefs over there are planning to use it in a number of dishes at a special event being organised by the Ambassador.

‘It should be interesting because the cod and haddock used by our traditional fish smokers here in Grimsby comes from Iceland because they know it is the best.

‘It is a good way of showing off British fish processing and food creation skills. It is a little known fact that, after oil, seafood is the world’s largest traded commodity.’

Norton, who is being accompanied by Simon Dwyer, head of Seafox Management Consultants in Grimsby, also plans to use the visit to assess Iceland’s future fish export plans.

‘We know how important Icelandic fish is to the Grimsby market, but for sound economic reasons they are now processing more of their own catch at home to create jobs.

‘I want to see how far that policy is likely to go and what affect it is likely to have on Grimsby,’ he added.

Norton also plans to meet officials from Matis, the Icelandic equivalent of Seafish, which is carrying out a number of interesting experiments involving seafood.