Got some time on your hands to try new recipes? The case for taking a fresh look at fish dishes is very strong – it’s plentiful, tasty, easy to cook, healthy and nutritious. And if you buy UK landed fish you will be helping to sustain our fishing communities. Every £ spent on UK goods helps rack up money to support our public services, and in particular, the NHS can do with every penny just now.

Kilkeel Harbour. Image: Tripadvisor.

Peterhead Harbour. Image Fishing News.

Fish Facts 1

Our main exports are oily fish that are the most recommended for a healthy diet! Only a few generations ago these were absolute staple foods, and perhaps it’s time for them to return.

  • Salmon (100,000 tonnes exported)
  • Mackerel (80,000 tonnes exported)
  • Herring (40,000 tonnes exported)

Mackerel Fillet- Fish for Thought

Salmon- Mourne Fishbox

Mediterranean countries are famous for seafood dishes, and a lot of this comes from the UK, then we fly out there on holiday and eat it. Try out making the same dishes at home, there are lots of websites for recipe inspiration including Fish is the Dish.

Fish is The Dish, Southern-style Mackerel open sandwich.

Fish Facts 2

The UK fleet catches enough fish to supply everything we eat. 

YouK– A Fishy Story

But we export most of it, and then import most of what we eat from all around the world!

Eating what we catch not only helps our fishing industry, it’s also so much better for the environment – reducing waste and product miles.

Fish Facts 3 – Why UK Fishing needs your help

  • The amount of fish landed in the UK by the home fishing fleet has seen an overall decline since 1895. 
  • The total number of fishermen employed in the UK has fallen from just under 50,000 in 1938 to less than 12,000 in 2016.
  • The number of fishing vessels in the UK fleet has fallen by 29% since 1996 – to some 7,000 vessels in 2016.
  • The UK is a net importer of fish, with net imports of around 290,000 tonnes in 2016, worth £1.4bn. 
  • The UK fleet has the second-largest total catch (in terms of landed weight) and the second-largest fleet size (in gross tonnage terms) in the EU.


  • House of Commons Briefing Paper Number 2788, 5th December 2017, author Elise Uberoi.