Sea Food in the UK
Ever since we embarked on the 'alternative lifestyle', living as fugally and off-grid as we can, on the water, one of the main components of our diet has been the addition of sea food, lot's and lots more sea food for that matter.
What Sea Food do we eat?
The fish that we by far eat the most of has to be the mighty 'Sea Bass' or just 'Bass' as most UK fisherman insist, In their eyes there is no fresh water Bass in the UK, so there is no need to add the 'sea' before the name. But in any case, we eat a lot of them!
There's plenty of other seafood we eat too, it all just depends on what we can find on any given day, but by far the fish that always seems the most abundant has been the Bass.
Foraging fresh Sea Food in the UK
One of the most enjoyable ways to collect fresh sea food in the UK has to be taking a stroll along the shore at low tide and having a forage around in the rocks and seaweed. Choosing to forage on a 'spring' low tide will often yield the best results as you'll be more likely to find sea food that has been caught out by such a large movement in the sea water.
We have two main tide cycles in the UK, 'Springs' and 'Neaps' with Springs being the larger of the cycles. However, always be careful if you're our foraging during a big spring tide as you can very easily get cut off as the water comes rushing back in faster than you may be able to get back out of the area. For this reason, always carry a life jacket, a fully charged phone in a water-proof case and be sure to let someone know where you're going and what you plan to do.
Foraging some items to go with your fresh Sea Food
Depending on the time of year you can often find wild food growing around you in the British Countryside, although do take care to get the land owners permission before helping yourself to their goods, but in other cases you can find some items growing wild in public land.
Anything citrusy tends to go well with sea food although in the UK we also have a huge variety of sea weed also, which is pretty much all edible. So if you like to have a little green on your plate to accompany your seafood then that's never a problem here.
What is our favourite Sea Food to harvest?
This has to undoubtedly go to the mighty Atlantic Lobster! These amazing sea bugs are not that easy to catch, especially of you're swimming down and catching them by hand, all whilst holding your breath, but boy what a treat it is when you do manage to pull it off.
Eating freshly hand caught lobster has to be the crown jewel in the British Sea Food offering for us, it will always be a real treat.
How to do catch most of our Sea Food?
In the early days when we ventured on this alternative lifestyle, living on a sailing boat, we often caught our food with a rod and line. Eventually, over time, this resulted in a lot of bycatch which I guess is just a part and parcel of this method of fishing.
Fast forward a couple of years and I discovered the art of spear fishing which turns out is the most sustainable way to harvest fresh sea food and you can be very selective about what you take, which means there is precisely no bycatch whatsoever. Spearfishing is a lot more involved than simply casting out a rod and line but it is immensely rewarding when you manage to hunt down exactly which fish you want, pull the trigger and harvest exactly what you wanted.
Our second favourite Sea Food to harvest?
Scallops! If Lobster is our absolute favourite Sea Food to harvest, fretting caught, hand dived Scallops are a super close second best for sure. We find that Scallops love to live in the sand, buried just under it (which can make them hard to spot right away) and they like sandy areas that don't get beaten up by the waves, so you'll often find them in slightly deeper water.
One of the tricks to establishing if there are indeed Scallops residing in the area you happen to be in is taking a walk along the beach at low tide and if you find Scallops shells along the beach then there's a very good chance they'll be close by. It may mean needed to put on a snorkel and mask and get in the water to find them, or if you're very lucky, you can sometimes find them when you're foraging along the coastline on a big spring tide.
Catch fresh Sea Food - Cornish Lobsters
Popular Questions about British Sea Food
What are the most popular seafood options?
The most popular seafood options vary, but some commonly enjoyed ones worldwide include shrimp/prawns, salmon, tuna, crab, lobster, cod, mussels, oysters, scallops, and squid/calamari.
What is the famous seafood in the UK?
Fish and chips is a famous seafood dish in the UK. It typically consists of battered and deep-fried white fish (such as cod or haddock) served with chips (French fries).
What is the seafood capital of the UK?
The seafood capital of the UK is not definitively one place, as different coastal regions have their own specialties. However, notable areas known for their seafood include Whitstable in Kent (famous for oysters), Brixham in Devon (known for crab and scallops), Padstow in Cornwall (renowned for seafood restaurants and dishes like crab, lobster, and locally caught fish), and Grimsby in Lincolnshire (historically a major fishing port famous for smoked fish, particularly haddock).
Where are the best places to catch your own Sea Food?
Well this is purely subjective and anecdotal, we haven't fished everywhere, but from where we have been, our personal favourite areas are, Mevagissy, Porthscatho, Porthcurno, St.Mawes, Falmouth, Studland Bay, Mupe Bay, Worbarrow Bay, Lulworth Cove and Penzance.