< Back to news 18 January, 2017

Boost in Scottish fish market as post Christmas demand drops

Beacon supply partner, M&J Seafood report good availability and stable prices on the majority of farmed species, including Sea Bass in January 2017. Along with increased fishing quotas for some valuable species including Whiting, a great alternative to Cod. Read on to see which seafood lines are worth adding to your menu for January and February 2017.
January should see more Scottish fish on the market as post-Christmas demand  drops. The majority of farming companies in Scotland are however still not  expecting to see any major improvements in availability until Easter. The Amoebic Gill Disease (AGD) and lice problems that hit Salmon farms in summer and autumn have taken their toll on stocks at sea. The prices just prior to Christmas were at their highest in 2016 and the popular size of 3-6kg fish was nearly double the price in December 2015.

As with Scotland, it is expected that Salmon volumes available from Norway for Q1 will be considerably down on 2016. In weeks 44 - 47 inclusive, the total weekly volumes harvested show a 7.9% reduction from 2015 to 2016. There are no expectations for Salmon prices to ease any time soon.

Farmed Fish
Good supply is expected to continue throughout January on farmed Sea Bass
and Bream. There will be also a good availability on all sizes of farmed fish such as Turbot, Meagre and Halibut, with steady prices.

December saw issues with availability from Scotland of larger fish due to a lower than expected growth cycle, however, we have a back up in place until the fish have grown further.

As we are in the middle of the spawning season for Plaice, most fish will be full of roe and will soon become thin with poorer flesh quality. Plaice will start coming back in to prime condition towards the end of March/early April.

Dutch Mussels will be in good supply in January and we expect no availability issues with USA Scallops. There should be good volumes, weather permitting, of Scottish MSC Mussels and we also have a new supply of rope grown Mussels from the Gower Peninsula in South Wales.

Wild Sea Bass
Similar to the last few years, the European Commission has issued a ban on all forms of Bass fishing during the spawning season in February and March to prevent the collapse of the declining stock, which is at its most vulnerable at this time of year.

Fishing will remain unchanged in January with trawlers restricted to 1 ton per  month and rod & line fishermen to 1.3 tons per month. Rod & line fishing will recommence in April with a total allowable catch for the year reduced from 13 to 10 tons for boats with a previous proven history for rod & line fishing. Drift netting for Bass is banned for the whole of 2017, however, boats using fixed, gill, trammel or static nets are restricted to a total of 1% by-catch per landing (a maximum of 250kg per month) while trawlers are restricted to a 3% bycatch (a maximum of 400kg per month).

Fish Jan

To find out more from M&J Seafood, click here.

To contact Beacon and discuss how we can work with you to provide sustainable fish solutions, click here or call the Beacon team on 01904 695588.