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From the Cornish Sea to Your Plate

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A Guide to Cornish Fish and Seafood

Cornwall, with its rugged coastline and abundant clear waters stretching out into the Atlantic Ocean, boasts a rich bounty of fish and seafood that has been a cornerstone of its culinary heritage for centuries. The Cornish fishing industry is a vital part of the region's cultural heritage and economic vitality. There is a proud tradition of small-scale, family-run fishing operations that have sustained coastal communities for generations. Fishing has long been a way of life in Cornwall, with fishermen venturing out to sea in search of a bountiful harvest of fish and seafood to support their families and livelihoods.

Throughout Cornwall, picturesque harbours and fishing villages dot the coastline, serving as the beating heart of the local fishing industry. Harbours such as Padstow, Porthleven, Looe and St. Ives still support local fishing boats who regularly land their catches. Newlyn, which has been a working harbour since the 15th century is one of the UK’s largest fishing ports and is known for its bustling fish market, where fishermen unload their catch early each morning to be sold to local and national buyers.

Cornish fishermen employ a variety of fishing methods to harvest the rich bounty of fish and seafood found in local waters. Some of the most common methods include:

Trawling: Trawling involves dragging a net through the water to catch fish. In Cornwall, both bottom trawling and midwater trawling are used, depending on the target species and fishing grounds.

Potting: Potting, or using lobster pots and crab pots, is a traditional method of catching shellfish like crab and lobster. The pots are baited and left on the seabed for a period of time before being hauled up to retrieve the catch. This is a highly sustainable way of fishing with only the target species caught and undersized individuals let go unharmed.

Netting: Netting, including gillnetting and seine netting, is another common fishing method used in Cornwall. Nets are used to surround fish or form a barrier to catch them as they swim.

For more information on the types of fishing methods used in Cornwall visit Cornwall Good Seafood Guide.


So why is Cornish Fish & Seafood so highly regarded?

There are several reasons why fish and seafood from Cornwall are considered some of the best in the world. Our rugged coastline stretches out in to the Atlantic and Grade A clear waters means we have access to some of the best fishing grounds in the UK. 

The diverse range of habitats that surround the coastline of Cornwall provide homes for a wide range of fish and seafood from Atlantic Bluefin Tuna to Turbot. The small harbours scattered along the coastline supports our small inshore fleet as well as the larger boats operating out of larger harbours such as Newlyn. 

The small day boats land fish within a few hours of being caught and often use far more sustainable methods than the larger trawlers.  This results in the freshest quality fish available, caught in the most sustainable ways to protect fish stocks for the future.

Cornish fishermen take pride in their craft and adhere to strict fishing regulations to protect fish stocks and maintain sustainable practices. This commitment to quality ensures that Cornish fish and seafood are of the highest standard.

At The Cornish Food Box Company we carefully consider which species to stock and how the fish has been caught. By working closely with our fishmongers we have a great range of carefully sourced and prepared fish & seafood which is amongst the most sustainable & freshest you can buy.

Main Fish & Seafood Species Landed in Cornwall

Mackerel: Known for its rich, oily flesh and distinctive flavour, mackerel is a prized catch in Cornish waters. It's commonly grilled, smoked, or pan-fried and is a favourite among seafood lovers for its versatility and delicious taste.

Haddock: With its firm, white flesh and mild flavour, haddock is another popular species caught off the coast of Cornwall. It's often used in traditional British dishes like fish and chips or baked haddock with a breadcrumb topping.

Cod: Cod is one of the most iconic species of fish found in Cornish waters. It has a flaky texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavour, making it a versatile ingredient in a wide range of dishes, from fish pies to fish tacos.

Brown Crab: Cornwall is famous for its succulent, sweet crab meat, harvested from the abundant crab populations found along its coastline. Whether served cold in a salad or hot in a crab linguine, Cornish crab is a true delicacy.

Lobster: Cornish lobster is prized for its firm, succulent meat and rich, sweet flavour. It's often boiled or grilled and served with melted butter or garlic mayonnaise for a truly indulgent seafood experience.

Whiting: Whiting is a species of white fish commonly found in the waters off the coast of Cornwall. It has delicate, flaky flesh and a mild, slightly sweet flavour, making it a versatile option for cooking. Whiting is often used in traditional recipes such as fish pies, fish cakes, and battered fish fillets.

Hake: Hake is a popular fish species found in the North Atlantic Ocean, including the waters around Cornwall. It has firm, white flesh and a mild, sweet flavour, similar to cod or haddock. Hake is prized for its versatility in cooking and is commonly used in dishes such as fish stews, grilled fillets, and baked casseroles.

Squid: Squid, also known as calamari, is a cephalopod mollusk commonly found in the waters off the coast of Cornwall. It has tender, chewy flesh and a mild, slightly sweet flavour. Squid is often prepared by grilling, frying, or sautéing and is a popular ingredient in Mediterranean and Asian cuisines.

Gurnard: Gurnard is a family of fish species commonly found in the waters around Cornwall, including the red gurnard and grey gurnard. It has firm, white flesh and a sweet, nutty flavour. Gurnard is often used in seafood soups, stews, and curries, and its distinctive appearance makes it a favourite among seafood enthusiasts.

Monkfish: Monkfish, also known as anglerfish or lotte, is a unique-looking fish species found in the North Atlantic Ocean, including the waters off the coast of Cornwall. It has firm, dense flesh and a sweet, mild flavour reminiscent of lobster. Monkfish is often compared to lobster or scallops in taste and is prized for its versatility in cooking, from pan-searing to roasting to grilling.

Why not experience the taste of Cornwall for yourself by getting fish and seafood delivered straight to your doorstep? By getting fish and seafood delivered from Cornwall, you're getting it straight from the source, guaranteeing freshness and quality as well as supporting local fishmongers and fishermen and contributing to the livelihoods of coastal communities and helping to sustain traditional fishing practices.

With our online ordering and nationwide delivery options, getting fish and seafood delivered from Cornwall is convenient and hassle-free, allowing you to enjoy the best of Cornish catch without leaving your home. If you would like to order some Cornish & Seafood for delivery to your door click here.


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