A seafood trail stretching across Axmouth, Beer, Lyme Regis, West Bay and beyond has been launched by the Lyme Bay Fisherman’s CIC (LBF).

The not-for-profit LBF was set up late last year to help support the 50 small-scale fishermen and inshore fleets from across the four ports.

LBF chief executive Mandy Wolfe said: “We are so excited to be launching the seafood trail today. We know there is huge support for our members from hospitality businesses around the bay, and we want to support and promote those that buy our members’ catches.

“We are scallop divers, trawlermen, potters, netters and anglers that catch over 50 different species throughout the year, and it is always fantastic to see local businesses using local catch.

“Fishing is the most dangerous peacetime occupation – particularly so for smaller vessels like our members who fish from boats of under 12m in length. Selling catch locally rather than to wholesale markets means they earn a little more for their catch while reducing the carbon footprint created by food miles.”

The new scheme, which is fr ee to join, will see participating businesses being visited by LBF representatives and provided with buying information and a window sticker so customers can see that the business supports the local fleet.

The ‘Where to Eat’ section of the LBF website will host information and links to businesses with contact details and opening times.

Mark Newton, chair of the LBF, said: “The support our members get from local hospitality businesses choosing to buy local is vital to this small-scale fleet, and we are truly grateful.

“It is fantastic that with the help of government funding from the MMO FaSS scheme, we are now able to return that support, and help promote those businesses that are buying from our fleet of members.”

Renowned chef Mark Hix, who runs the Oyster and Fish House restaurant in Lyme Regis, has thrown his support behind the initiative. “We are blessed in Lyme Bay to have some great fishermen who diversify in their seasonal fishing methods and land a great array of fish and shellfish which comes straight off the boat and up the hill to the Oyster and Fish House,” he said.

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This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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