Yesterday was the first time in 12 months there were no fish to sell at Brixham Trawler Agents, as a series of storms that have lashed the South West of England continued to take their toll.
That's according to Barry Young, director and chief auctioneer of the Brixham-based company, which sells daily fish catches to wholesalers and suppliers in the local area for supply nationwide.
The lack of supply has put a strain on chefs trying to offer fresh, locally caught fish. Russell Brown, chef-patron of Sienna Restaurant in Dorchester, said: "It's been really tough all year, which is not surprising given the weather. We've come close to having no fish at all at times."
Neil Walker, owner of Brixham fish merchant David Walker and Son, told Caterer: "The weather has taken its natural course, and the catches have not been huge. We have stocks of most species but lower than average and we should be thankful we have such brave fishermen".
The effects are being felt further afield too. Don Tyler, owner of J.Bennett (Billingsgate) and chairman of The London Fish Merchants Association, which represents merchants at Billingsgate Market, confirmed that suppliers had been hit dramatically.
"We have to work with the variables - the supply of sprats, mackerel, cod and haddock has been plentiful from Scotland and Grimsby, and we can always offer frozen alternatives.
Today, the Brixham auctions have fish again, and Gus Caslake, of Seafish UK tweeted that "50+ tons (and approximately 35 species) had been landed in Brixham earlier in the week."
However, with more bad weather predicted for the weekend, supplies will continue to be limited until conditions improve.