TODAY'S FRESH DAY BOAT LANDINGS
From Humble Beginnings
The fishing industry has been central to Cornwall’s economy and culture for generations. Traditionally, the majority of the fish harvested in Cornwall would have come from the local fleet of day boats. Fishing the inshore waters with lines, nets, and pots, the most sustainable of fishing methods with little by catch or discards.
Over the past 20 years, commercial fishing has dominated the seafood market all over the world, due to the growing demand for common species to be harvested all year round. Commercial catches landed in Cornwall are frequently sold at the same markets as day boat fish, causing the quality and sustainability of local day boat catch to be completely lost in the food chain.
We made it our mission to change that by delivering not just line-caught day boat catches directly to chefs and restaurants – from ocean to kitchen across the UK. Our first-day boat land of seasonal Mackerel, we sold to a local restaurant here in Cornwall, and we’ve never looked back.
Things have come a long way since. We collaborate with some of Cornwall’s greatest independent day boat fishermen, who share our commitment to high-quality, seasonal and sustainably caught seafood. We believe that everyone has the right to know where their seafood comes from, everything we provide is landed daily, selected by Wild Harbour, hand-prepared, and packed by us.
It’s not only about delicious seafood. It is about developing a sustainable food system, being cognizant of where our seafood comes from, and treating our British fishermen fairly. Exceptional customer service, traceability and sustainability are the foundation of what we do.
Our Founder, Abi Taylor, has always had close ties to Cornwall’s local fishermen and a passion for healthy, naturally sourced seafood. She knew there was a demand for delivering honest and fair seafood straight to kitchens across the UK. As an established fishery, we understand what goes into sourcing this superior quality seafood, so we’ll always be a sustainable fishery, that supports local and traditional fishing, and we’ll always provide traceable & fresh seafood of the highest quality.
Sustainability & Fishing Method
Wild Harbour works alongside local fishermen, developing relationships that are still going strong nearly ten years later. We ensure that the fish we buy is from the small, under 10 feet fleet, that use fishing methods, like hook and line, which have been in practice for hundreds of years and are proven to be sustainable. These smaller boats, usually only manned by a single fisherman, are also able to ensure the exceptional quality we demand by using the ‘slush ice method’ which bring the core temperature of fish down incredibly quickly, preserving that ‘just caught’ quality.
Hand Lines & Rod
Many of our boats use hand lines and rod and lines to catch their fish. These fishing methods have been practised for hundreds of years by. Line caught not only produces excellent quality of fish and welfare, it is also the most sustainable method possible.
Small Day Boat Bottom Trawl
We have spent a great deal of time researching best practices with the Fishing Gear Technologist from SeaFish and as a result, Wild Harbour have hand-picked several fishermen from the Cornish fleet, who have in-shore day boats and use small bottom trawls to catch their fish.
Demersal Otter Trawl
A demersal trawl is a cone-shaped net that is towed on the seabed to target demersal fish species. The mouth of the trawl is held open by a pair of trawl doors (Otter Boards). This method of trawling is considerably less damaging to the ocean beds.
Honest Cornish shellfish
shellfish catch method
All our shellfish are gathered using the most sustainable methods available to us here in the West Country. The Oyster fishery that our Natives come from is over 300 years old and all the boats are powered by sail, the way it’s always been. Famed Cornish Lobster and Crab as well as our Mylor shrimps are all caught using pots, the age-old way. Our beautiful hand dived scallops are caught one by one, by skilled divers to protect the local beds.
Issues We Care About
Supporting Local Fisherman
The fishing industry is one of the oldest industries in Cornwall, and over the centuries the fishing industry have been supplying fish and shellfish within miles of the fishing villages they set sail from, each day landing and providing the local area with their catch caught in calm and gales.
In-shore fisherman are facing threat after supply and demand has increased, enabling larger fishing fleets to dominate the industry. We believe that local day boats are the most sustainable methods of fishing, producing extremely healthy naturally caught seafood that is fully traceable, isn’t damaging to the bio-diversity of our fish and doesn’t harm the ocean beds.
We provide support to our local fisherman with funding for better more sustainable fishing gear, and we ensure that our fisherman are paid a consistent fair rate for their fish weekly.
Protecting Wild Fish Populations
When choosing seafood it is vital to not only think about the sustainability of the fish you are eating but to also bear in mind seasonal variation in availability, quality and price. Here at Wild Harbour, we try our best to guide our customers to source the best local, sustainable seafood. Over the past decade, we have encouraged our customers to understand and embrace the natural dynamics of the working sea and how to make more sustainable choices for their menus.
Back in 2015, We allied with the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust since their inception. To this end, we work closely with them to ensure that the fish we sell is ‘recommended’, and that we remain active in local affairs. They have been a constant source of good information over the years, and help to inform us about the methods of fishing, availability of species and local fishing news.
Transparency & Sustainability
At Wild Harbour we believe being able to source only the most sustainable caught fish and shellfish is of the upmost importance, we also believe the transparency on catch methods is crucial and here’s why:
Sustainable Fish Don’t Jeopardise The Environment
Sustainably sourced means that catching the fish did not have an impact on the surrounding marine environment. Unsustainable practices of fishing often harm the ocean beds by dredging, fish are not always caught in-season and the by-catch is often returned to the ocean dead, which can pollute our fresh water rivers and lakes with fish waste.
In-Season Sustainable Fish Doesn’t Decrease The Fish Population
Sourcing fish only when they are in season can maintain or increase the number of fish raised or sourced over the long term without depleting the global fish population. Unsustainably sourcing fish when they are out of season is contributing to the world’s overfishing problem.
Sustainable Fishing Doesn’t Hurt Other Species
Little day boats account for less than 1% if by catch produced by the fishing industry, the traditional methods of catching mean that if there is by-catch it can be returned to the ocean unharmed.
By-catch is a huge issue in the commercial fishing industry, because of large trawls they often catch marine life not suitable for consumption. Often these are species will return to the ocean either harmed or dead, it’s not sustainable and is harming our oceans.
Sustainable Fish Is Of Far Greater Quality
Not only, buying sustainable seafood benefits local fisherman, oceans and the environment, but it is of superior quality and far healthy for you.
We are proud to provide high-quality sustainably caught fresh fish and shellfish that are landed daily on the shore of the Cornish coast. Supplying directly to the hospitality sector all across the UK, as well as Michelin-starred chefs and smaller independently owned restaurants.
Over the past 10 years, we’ve continuously pushed ethical sourcing, eco-friendly practices, and has worked tirelessly to educate consumers about the seasonality of fish and sustainable sourcing, empowering our chef’s to make good choices for their menus.
We’ve received national recognition and accreditation from Cornwall Sustainability Awards, as a National Winner of the APC SME Growth Award, and as a premium provider of fish in the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide.
We’ve recently collaborated with Carbon Neutral Britain to create a report on the entire company’s carbon footprint and has offset the company’s consumption through the Carbon Neutral Britain Climate Fund in 2021. Looking forward to the future, we endeavour to become a greener, cleaner and even more so sustainable small business on her continued mission to “make a difference” within the fishing industry and to our planet.
Founder & CEO