Soaring supplies bring Easter delight for Grimsby's fish trade

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 17 Apr 2019

The year’s biggest supply of fish to Grimsby has coincided with the strongest demand, delighting all involved in the sector from sea to plate.

Good Friday is for fish what Christmas is for turkey, with huge spikes in sales recorded at Easter.

And double the normal weekly deliveries have been welcomed in the first three days’ auctions, making today’s Show Day  a jolly affair ‘down dock’ as a result. 

While trawlers flying bunting is left to the memory banks, boxes lined the market floor as enthusiasm spilled over like ice. 

Martyn Boyers, chief executive of market operator Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises, said: “The biggest supply of the year so far is coinciding with Easter week.

“There has been plenty of haddock, which is what people like here. It has been an excellent week so far, and will continue to be. It has been exceptionally busy, but staff have coped pretty well.”

FLASHBACK: When our man took in Show Day in 2018

From Monday through to today,10,000 boxes have been traded, with a normal week seeing 5,000. It has made it the busiest Easter for 15 years. 

Recent weeks have stuttered with the bad sea states in the North Atlantic hampering fishing efforts, with one Monday market cancelled when the regular vessel didn’t make it down in time.

“There has been more fishing, due to better weather in Iceland, so supplies are very strong,” Mr Boyers said. “With Easter being a moveable feast we are very lucky for peak supply and peak demand to have coincided. It is excellent, and really good for all.”

UK Commissioner to Europe, Andrew Mitchell, right, with Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, Icelandic Ambassador, left, and Wegger Christian Strømmen, his Norwegian counterpart, following the signing in London.

It comes on the back of trade deals being signed with the ‘holy trinity’ of seafood nations - Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands - should the UK end up leaving the EU with no deal.

Last year’s Easter run-in saw 7,000 boxes auctioned, underlining the volatility of supply that prevails in an age where so many demands for consistency are made. That figure was up on 2017, when the town was recovering from a dip in supply due to strikes in Iceland.

MORE: Meet Clive Triton - the new man driving growth in Grimsby

Nelson Hunter, auctioneer with Atlantic Fresh, the huge importer into Grimsby from the Iceland, said: “It is all down to how the weather is fixed. There has been a clear run of weather, and once those boats get out there, little stops them.

“Prices are holding up, with good demand out there for Easter celebrations, and plenty of haddock for the fish and chip shops up and down the coast.”

Sunny intervals and highs of 17 degrees centigrade are forecast for the bank holiday weekend.

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