Some of the UK's top restaurant owners have taken part in a two-day educational study trip to North-East Scotland this week as part of the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish UK.
The top five finalists for the Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year Award; Mister C's in Selby, North Yorkshire; Harbour Lights in Falmouth, Cornwall; The Fisherman's Wife in Whitby, North Yorkshire; The Pelican in Barnstaple, Devon and Seafresh Restaurant in Pimlico, London, were invited to take part in the exclusive trip organised by awards sponsor Seafood Scotland and funded by Connect Local.
During the trip, the finalists and members of the media visited the port of Peterhead, Europe's leading whitefish fishing port, accounting for around 79% of all UK whitefish landings, where they had the opportunity to learn about the revitalised supply chain of haddock and cod for the fish frying industry and the wider UK food sector.
The early morning visit to the fish market allowed the finalists the opportunity to see first-hand the activity in the market while also learning about the sustainable fisheries management practices followed by the Scottish fishing fleet.
The group also visited two fish processors: Colin Fraser Ltd and A G D Duff & Partners Ltd continuing to follow the journey from sea to plate.
Clare Dean, trade marketing manager at Seafood Scotland, who organised the trip added: "The trip was a great opportunity for our guests to see our vibrant fishing industry first hand and in return, for the industry to showcase itself to the valuable fish and chip shop sector.
"Our goal is to keep telling fryers and chefs across all sectors about the great quality of fish available from Scotland. It's fresh, it's wild, and landed on our doorstep; important points given the focus on provenance and authenticity by the food supply chain."
During the trip the news of 25 new fishing boats was confirmed as on order for the North East of Scotland; a timely order with the market recently reporting a record weekly haul of 35,000 boxes of fish.
With new Scottish landing obligations in place, the fishing industry in Scotland seems to be enjoying a fresh vigour.
Marcus Coleman, chief executive at Seafish UK, added: "This trip provided our finalists with an opportunity to explore one of the UK's busiest fishing ports in action.
"It's important that we encourage people to pursue a career in the fish and chip sector so that the industry can thrive for generations to come, but to do so they must have a strong understanding of the wider seafood industry - and that's exactly what this trip offered."
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