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Fish Friday: where to stock up on local

Love a fishy on your dishy? Keep it local and sustainable this Good Friday with Muddy's guide to the region's best catch of fishmongers.

Lately, Mr Muddy and I have been fretting about the local fishermen. Brexit pressures, alongside a plethora of pop-ups which need support during lockdown has had us wringing our hands and saying, “We must buy more local fish!”. But even though we live just 10 minutes from the sea (yes, very jammy), there are no fish shops locally. It wasn’t until I recently had to swing by Ashburton for work I put my good intentions into action.

I stumbled across The Fish Deli, a paean to all things fishy, and with a shopfront so ravishing I almost garrotted myself on my scarf in my rush over to its door.

The lucky locals can net an amazing range of seafood landed at Plymouth from here, including fresh fish, shellfish and squid.

Owners Nick (above), Michele and the team care about sustainability issues, or what they efficiently call ‘fissues’, meaning they buy from independent day boats as the name suggests, go out to sea and return the same day, staying local and being careful not to deplete fish stocks. They eschew the catch from big trawlers which fish indiscriminately, catching anything that comes into the nets, leading to a high discard rate (unwanted fish thrown back dead). And because they stay at sea for days at a time, what’s landed may have been on ice for up to two weeks before it makes it back to shore.

Anyway, here endeth the sermon (well, it is Easter). It’s well worth stopping by post-lockdown (any excuse to go to Ashburton, one of Muddy’s Best Places to Live in Devon) or you can buy online.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY LOCAL IN DEVON

Pic credit: Rockfish

Rockfish, Brixham

Seafood restauranteur Mitch Tonks’ has diversified into retail sales, with a fishmonger underneath his Brixham seafood restaurant, right next to where the boats land the fish. Fish is prepared and arranged in the traditional way on ice in boxes, in keeping with the spirit of fish auction and markets the world over. Open Tues -Sat, or click and collect online.

The Fish Deli, Ashburton

In season fish, supplied whole, prepared, gutted and scaled fish or fillets, plus deli counter goodies and fish stew, curry, pie and curries. Buy from the door during lockdown, 9am -4pm Tuesday – Saturday, or phone 01364 654833 and collect fish deli orders, lines open Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 2pm or email orders to information@thefishdeli.co.uk.

Salt, Topsham

A new fish deli created in lockdown to help local fishermen by Tom and Amelia, owners of Topsham’s Salutation Inn. Every Thursday live landings of include lobster, crab and mussels from Teignmouth and langoustines from Scotland. Free delivery of fish boxes within 8 miles, open Tues-Sat, 9am-5pm.

The Devon Fishmonger, Honiton

Fresh fish and shellfish from Beer, Brixham, Clovelly and Darmouth sold online, delivered anywhere in the UK. Locals can buy from their fishmonger shop in New Street.

Catch of the Day, Kingsbridge

Local smoke house, owned by locals Darren and Emma, dating back to the 1950s, offering local fish, smoked fish, prawns, local crab and lobsters with postal orders and gift boxes available.

Jonas, Tiverton

Family-run business spanning across 5 generations who buy fish daily from Brixham Fish Market and visit towns with their van across the county daily, including Tiverton Pannier market on Friday. Here’s where to find them locally.. 

Greendale Farm Shop, Exeter

Greendale have its own fleet of fishing boats, which operate in accordance with the Seafood Responsible Fishing Scheme, and work out of Exmouth, Brixham and Newlyn. A Greendale catch can often be on its way to the farm shop within hours of leaving the sea. Free delivery on orders over £50.

Find more ideas here

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