The fishing industry is a hot topic at the moment, and news of over-fishing and the poor state of fish stocks often hits the headlines. I have tried to choose fishmongers who have a good understanding of the issues, fishmongers who endeavour to make a difference with the way they run their businesses. These are the fishmongers who tend to buy local fish, from boats that only go out to sea for a day at a time, and this has two major benefits. Day boats are considered one of the more sustainable ways to fish, and they also provide the freshest fish (it hasn't been sitting on a boat that has been at sea for a week or more). Some of the fishmongers we list offer hand-lined and hand-dived fish, which is more sustainable still, and many hand pick the fish they stock direct from the port each morning, so they can be sure they are getting the best quality.
When I looked for fish smokers, I was keen to feature those that use undyed fish: the dyes can be used to hide poor quality fish. Within the directory, you'll find producers using old-fashioned smokehouses, smoking the fish in an unhurried manner with great attention to detail.
Taynuilt, Argyll PA35 1HU
Tel: 01866 822446 Fax: 01866 822274
Trout and salmon, smoked slowly (for around 48 hours) over oak logs in a traditional brick smokehouse, without artificial colours or additives. Available by mail order.
Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd
Clachan, Clairndow, Argyll PA26 8BL
Tel/Fax: 01499 600264
Smoked salmon, haddock and trout; pickled herring, kippers and smoked eel; oysters from their own oyster beds, langoustines, mussels and scallops. The fish is chosen carefully from suppliers who operate sustainably, and organically if possible. Scottish beef, lamb and game, and cheeses and ales are also available. Mail order facility available.
6 Green Street, Bath BA1 2JY
Tel/Fax: 01225 447794
Fish sourced from Cornwall and Scotland. The company have built up a relationship with many fishermen, and know which boats bring in the best fish. They stock 40-50 varieties of fish, and the staff in the shop are also chefs, who can advise on preparation and cooking. Also branches in Bristol (tel: 0117 974 4433) and Christchurch, Dorset (tel: 01202 487000) and Chiswick (020 8994 0086).
The Lobster Store
34 Shoregate, Crail KY10 3SU
Tel: 01333 450476
Fresh lobsters and crabs from local waters.
Eddie's Seafood Market
7 Roseneath Street, Edinburgh EH9 1JH
Tel: 0131 229 4207 Fax: 0131 229 9339
Amazing range of unusual fish, including shark, octopus, and razor clams.
MacCallum's of Troon
71 Holdsworth Street, Glasgow G3 8ED
Tel: 0141 204 4456 Fax 0141 204 4466
Huge range of exotic fish, but also lots of fish from local waters, including live lobsters, oysters, mussels and scallops.
One of the oldest smoking houses in the country, smoking wild salmon to a 1905 recipe. Described as ‘sensational' by The Times. Mail order available.
88-90 Essex Road, Islington, London N1 8LU
Tel/Fax: 020 7226 3963
Campaigner for UK fishing rights and quality fish within the UK. Can get hold of almost any fish you want. Stock comes from Billingsgate Market, from day boats. The company buying policy is to always buy on quality, never on price. No mail order.
No. 3 Provisional Market, Gentlemans Walk, Norwich NR2 1ND
Tel: 01603 767411
A wide variety (40-50 kinds) of local fresh fish from Lowestoft, bought from day boats. Coakley-Green Stall 41c The Market Oxford Street Swansea SA1 3PF Tel: 01792 653416 Huge range of local fish from day boats, with an emphasis on freshness. The staff are very knowledgeable. No mail order.
29 Thistle Street, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, AB10 1UY
Tel: 01224 640321 Fax: 01224 315983
Ken buys his fish every morning from Aberdeen Market. He knows the schedule of landings, and knows whose boats he wants fish from - who follows good practices on the boat and looks after the fish. Can supply wolf fish, wild salmon, wild sea bass and turbot, scallops and lobster. Mail order available.
The Steamer's House, Cadgwith Cove, Cornwall TR12 7LX
Tel: 01326 290539
Fresh crab caught by local boats fishing around the coast of the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall. Featured on programme 6 of 'Food Heroes - Another Helping'.
The Duchy of Cornwall Oyster Farm
Port Navas, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 5RJ
Native and Pacific oysters, and fresh mussels.
Good range of local Cornish fresh fish from Looe Fish Market or the boats that land at Fowey - fish from day boats is always chosen. Smoked fish is also available. Mail order available.
Holders of ‘Britains Best Fishmonger’ award from Seafish Industries. They buy their fish only from day boats or inshore boats - no netted fish, only line caught, and all Cornish fish landed at Newlyn. A large range of fish, including wolf fish (known as catfish). Mail order available.
Fresh Cornish fish often from day boats, and sometimes hand-lined mackerel. Staffed by experienced fishmongers who can prepare fish in any way required. Mail order available; Wing of St Mawes endeavour to have your fish with you the day after it was caught.
Fish for Thought
The Cornish Fish Store, Unit 1, Callywith Gate Business Park, Launceston Rd, Bodmin. PL31 2RQ
Tel: 01208 262202
Run by an ex-fisherman of 30 years standing, and supplying fresh Cornish fish, lobster, mussels and oysters (from the Duchy of Cornwall Oyster Farm). Fish from day boats is predominantly used, with a dedication to quality. Mail order only.
Good range of Cornish wet fish and shellfish from Newlyn and St Ives, from local day boats. Hand lined mackerel is sometimes available. Mail order available.
The Old Market House, The Quay, Brixham Devon TQ5 8AW
Tel: 01803 852942
Live local crabs and lobsters, or pick your lobster and have it boiled to order. Full range of local wet fish, too. No mail order.
River Exe Shellfish Farms Ltd., Lyson Kenton, Exeter, Devon EX6 8EZ
Tel: 01626 890133 Fax: 01626 891789
Fresh Pacific oysters, delivered overnight (prices include delivery cost).
Frank Greenslade Ltd Fish Market
New Quay Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 4AF
Tel: 01202 672199 Fax: 01202 667313
Most fish sold at Frank Greenslade Ltd is from the local waters around Bournemouth, from day boats. The range of fish available includes lobster, crabs, scallops and oysters, as well as wet fish. No mail order.
The Company Shed
129 Coast Road, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex CO5 8PA
Tel: 01206 382700 Fax: 01206 382284
Pacific and Native oysters available, harvested locally by a family who have been farming and selling oysters for six generations. No mail order. Andrew Keracher 73 South Street St Andrews Fife KY16 9PB Tel: 01334 472541 Excellent selection of fish from Scottish waters.
Incredibly fresh fish from British ports. The fish comes from Cornwall, from day boats, and from a few trusted suppliers; the shellfish comes from west-coast Scotland. All produce must meet exacting criteria before it is stocked in William’s Kitchen: it has to be of the highest quality, and preferably unusual or interesting; in short, it has to be special, which includes the fish, the fruit and veg, and the deli products. No mail order.
Brown trout and Rainbow trout from pure spring-water ponds. Brown trout takes twice as long to mature as Rainbow, which is why not many people sell it commercially, but it is available (with 1 day’s notice - they have to find and catch it!) from Donnington Fish Farm. No mail order.
Severn & Wye Smokery
Chaxhill, Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire GL14 1QW
Tel: 01452 760190 Fax: 01452 760193
Traditionally smoked, hand-processed wild salmon; also smoked organic Glenarm salmon from Northern Ireland. This farm has larger enclosures and lower stocking densities, so the salmon are healthier and more muscular, with a gamier flavour.Smoked trout, mackerel, and local eels are also available. Mail order available.
Wide range of fish from Scottish waters, including wolf fish (rock turbot), mainly from day boats. Also farmed organic salmon; Andy is reluctant to sell wild salmon due to the pressure on stocks. Also undyed smoked fish (whiting, salmon (peat smoked), haddock, prawns and mussels), smoked in traditional kilns. Mail order available.
Shellfish (including lobster and langoustines) from the clean waters around Skye; also smoked salmon. Mail order available.
Scottish Rock oysters from the west coast of Scotland, available all year and transported live, and Whitstable Native oysters, harvested from wild beds in Whitstable Bay from September to April. The owner says that the Scottish oysters taste fresh and salty with a hint of cucumber, while the Natives have a mineral taste not unlike rusty nails! He says that connoisseurs always go for the Natives. Mail order available.
Alfred Enderby Ltd
Maclure Street, Fish Docks, Grimsby, Lincolnshire DN31 3NE
Tel/Fax: 01472 342984
Undyed smoked haddock, cod and salmon, smoked the old-fashioned way in a traditional smokehouse. Mail order available.
Enormous range of smoked produce - from trout, salmon and scallops, to unusual items like smoked vegetables, butter and salt. The foods are smoked over whole or split Welsh oak logs.Mail order available.
Davies' Fish Shop
7 Garden Street, Cromer, Norfolk NR27 9HN
Tel: 01263 512727 Fax: 01263 514789
Local crab, said to be the sweetest tasting crab in the UK. Also available is a range of other wet fish and lobster, caught by Richard and his son in local waters. No mail order.
Award winning kippers, smoked trout, and smoked salmon. The company description of their processing is that ‘nothing happens quickly’. Hand-fed salmon from low-density Western Isles sea farms is chosen for a taste and texture close to that of wild salmon. The fish is slow smoked the old-fashioned way, which results in a more moist end-product. Bleikers have been awarded a gold and silver medal from the Guild of Fine Foods, and supply to numerous Michelin-starred restaurants. Mail order available.
Unit 1D, Willowtree Industrial Estate, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 2HA
Tel/Fax: 01665 604386
A good selection of local fish from the nearby port of Amble, all from day boats, some line caught. Ian Robertson hand picks the fish for his shop every day, including local lobsters and oysters from Lindisfarne. Mail order for smoked fish only.
Lindisfarne, the island off the coast of Northumberland, has a rich heritage of oyster farming - it is believed the oyster beds there were established in the 14th century. Christopher and Helen Sutherland now farm the oyster beds in the clean waters around Lindisfarne, allowing the oysters to mature well for up to four years before harvesting them. Available by mail order.
Smoked haddock, cod and wild salmon, traditionally smoked without additives or colourings in a 19th-century smokehouse. Haddock and cod are from local waters. Mail order available.
273a Banbury Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX2 7JF
Tel: 01865 515586
Daily deliveries from Lowestoft, of predominantly British fish from day boats. No mail order.
Salar Smokehouse Ltd
Lochcarnon South, Uist Outer Hebrides, Scotland HS8 5PD
Tel: 01870 610324 Fax: 01870 610369
Award-winning hot smoked salmon, given to Tony Blair on the opening of the Scottish parliament. The salmon is farmed on-site. Mail order available.
Smoked haddock, kippers, smoked sea bass, smoked eels, almost all from local Scottish waters. Oak shavings are used for a slow burn, which results in a sweeter flavour. The smoked organic salmon is slowly marinated in rum, molasses, juniper and garlic for an unusual flavour. Mail order available.
Sidinish Organic Salmon
Gramsdale, Isle of Ben Becula, Western Isles, Scotland HS7 5LZ
Tel: 01870 602081
7 Bath Place, Taunton, Somerset TA1 4ER
Tel: 01823 253500 Fax: 01823 421875
Fish from Brixham market, usually from day boats. Phil also has his own boat: importing almost nothing, Phil is a firm believer that British fish is best. No mail order.
John's Fish Shop
5 East Street Southwold Suffolk IP18 6EH
Tel/Fax: 01502 724253
Owned and run by an ex-fisherman. Aiming to offer the largest range of fish possible, John buys from Southwold Harbour and Lowestoft Market, mainly from day boats. John hand picks the fish himself every morning. Winner of 13 Seafish Industry Authority awards. No mail order.
Butley Orford Oysterage
Market Hill, Orford Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 2LH
Tel: 01394 450277 Fax: 01394 450949
Pacific oysters and fresh fish (including cod, skate, dover sole, brill and sea bass) caught by boats belonging to the shop; also smoked fish. No mail order.
Farmed brown trout that are treated as wild fish - low-density stocking, organically reared, and no artificial colouring (the flesh is white). Available from most branches of Waitrose; each fish is tagged as organic. No mail order.
Traditionally slow-smoked kippers. No mail order
Cross of York
3 & 4 Newgate Market York Yorkshire YO1 2LA
Tel: 01904 627590
Fish from day boats landing at Scarborough and Whitby; also salmon, langoustines and scallops from Scotland. The shop receives fresh fish two or three times a day. Winners of the Seafish Industry ‘Best Fishmonger in Northern England’ award. No mail order.