PERSONALLY, I would have more sympathy for the much publicised plight of our local fishermen if I could walk down my local road and buy some locally caught fish, as it were, locally.
I have now had enough and numerous conversations with local (ie St Leonards) restaurateurs and retailers to understand that there seems to be some sort of unspoken rule of ‘omerta’ concerning whether or not local people can consume, either directly or through local restaurants, locally caught fish.
Rick Stein has achieved, through his televised transformation of Padstow, a sea-change (pardon the pun) in the nation’s attitude to locally caught fish. We’ve all heard of food miles and we all seem to be agreeing with the concept.
Our local fisherman have had the welcome and ongoing national media campaign of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to support their opposition to the Common Fisheries Policy of the EU. We’ve all witnessed the appalling spectacle of their obligation to dump perfectly edible fish into the sea. In terms of their opposition to this ludicrous policy, surely we are all with them.
And yet, can I buy or consume one of the fish they actually land? Apparently not.
Would a local fisherman please care to explain as to why I have dizzyingly repetitive complaints from local restaurateurs, to quote: “They just won’t sell to us.”?
Seriously, if you want our support, what is your problem? Why won’t you sell your fish to us? Frankly, if there is no response to this question... stop bleating. Because if you won’t let us eat your fish, why on earth should we help you?