Matt Dawson hails fishermen

Posted on 25/11/14 by Matt Dawson

Ex-Rugby star and TV personality, Matt Dawson, kick-starts the blog with his entry, in which he praises the work of UK fishermen.

Now it's not a surprise to know that I'm food bonkers! Whether it's eating, writing, cooking or producing, my life during and since professional sport has been dominated by the food industry. Particularly the health food industry. One of the main ingredients has always been fish for its amazing nutritional value but only recently did I realise the precarious position we all find ourselves in regarding availability.

This is not just about sustainability of the fabulously finned friends but of our whole fishing industry. The public have no idea of the commitment, the sacrifice and downright graft a fisherman tolls to provide us with such a selection at the counter or on a menu. The week long trips in dangerous rolling seas away from their families in the hope of flushing out a shoal. The insecurity of finances weighing heavily as each night passes.

I experienced it myself in Brixham when filming 'Mitch and Matt's Big Fish'. Seeing some crews come back to the dock disappointed that their trawler would only deliver £100 to take home and yet the nets have been full of an array of species. Sadly it gets put back because us Brits are narrow minded creatures of eating habit.

What about the crabbers of Cromer? So reliant on its reputation and tourism yet who now goes to the seaside and orders a dressed crab and grabs a plastic fork. Candy floss is hardly a suitable substitute!

I always push for friends and family to try our amazing variety of fish. The gurnard, hake, pollock, bream, dabs, and halibut are just names that seem a little foreign. If only they knew?

From the generations of pilchard fishing in Cornwall cruising the midnight seas we have an awesome array of men and women doing their utmost to provide us and our families with fresh fish.

I salute you all and will continue to champion the ideas of eating the many varieties of seafood our British coastline has to offer. Please keep up the amazing dedication. My fish curry is legendary so my wife says, but we all know it's in the ingredients not the cook. 

To contribute to the blog, please contact nffo@nffo.org.uk

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