The whether report

How weather affects fish availability

We love our local fish for its freshness and its flavour but did you realise that the weather dictates whether or not there’s fish for us to buy?

The recent spate of high winds and heavy rains have impacted the availability of local fish badly and we’ve struggled to source the lovely local fish we know you - our customers - love.

Fishermen have plied their trade off the Kent coast for many centuries and there are still around 150 to 200 licensed fishermen working in around 130 licensed fishing boats off our coast, many of which are based out of Ramsgsate and some from our own beach here in Deal.

Most of these are small boats under ten metres in length and fish the English Channel as day boats, which - as the name suggests - means they go out and back in the day. As a result, their catch is relatively modest in size and brought to shore the same day it’s caught - not only completely traceable but also from their boat to your plate in a matter of hours!

But because the boats are small, they are highly vulnerable to bad weather. The weather makes it impossible for many of these small day boats to launch. Without them, there’s no local fish and that’s a tough gig for a local fishmonger.

We’re immensely relieved by the return of better weather and to see those boats back out at sea in time for the spring season. Watch out for next week’s blog for the low-down on what’s in season now.