Sardine have been fished in Cornwall for centuries. The first recorded export trade was noted as far back as 1555 when Mary I was on the throne!
In 2009 Cornish Sardine was awarded the status of protected geographical indication (PGI) because of the way Sardines are caught and the historic link to the fishing of Sardines in Cornish waters. This provides legal protection, preventing lower quality imitators from using the name.
The Cornish Sardine has been awarded Marine Stewardship Council Accreditation as a sustainable fishery.
Often sea fishing involves huge factory ships, with vast nets, that stay at sea for many weeks. Cornish Sardine fishing is a much smaller and more sustainable operation.
The boats are small with all vessels being under 16 metres and with a crew of 3 or 4.
The boats set off at dawn or dusk and will fish for the day, or night, but no longer – the crew gets to sleep in their own bed! Depending on how successful they are at sea, they will return 2 or 3 times to off load their catch, in Newlyn, Falmouth or Fowey.
The fishery operates entirely within a 6 mile limit. For the most part, the boats will be in sight of land.
The boats use a technique called ring netting where a net is shot out and then the boat sails around encircling the shoal. Then a rope beneath the net pulls the net together encircling the shoal. Skippers can usually tell what species of fish is present before they deploy the nets. However, if they do accidently catch the wrong species then the net can be released allowing the shoal to return to the sea.
These nets are not like the vast, miles
long nets used by massive vessels. These
nets are only 200 to 250 metres long by 30 metres deep.
It is for these reasons that the Cornish
Sardine fisheries have been awarded Marine Stewardship Council accreditation as a sustainable fishery.
Here is the fleet responsible for catching Fish4Dogs Finest Cornish Sardine:
FY119 Resolute Location - 9.95m length - Skipper Mike Brokenshire – home port Mevagissy
PZ181 Mayflower – 16m length - Skipper Mr Peter Buckland - home port Newlyn
PZ182 Asthore - 14m length - Skipper Mr Peter Bullock – home port Newlyn
Our Finest Cornish recipe uses fresh whole human-grade Sardine, exactly as we would buy in the supermarket! By using fresh human grade fish the palatability for this recipe is incredibly tasty, serving only the best for our four legged friends.