1. ITV Report

Fishermen selling sustainable catch straight to top London restaurants for 25% more money

Sustainable fishing makes 25% profit for Lyme fishermen Photo: ITV West Country

Fishermen in Lyme Bay say they are getting 25% more money for their catch since they started branding it and selling directly to restaurants in London.

Credit: ITV West Country

The new strategy is part of an attempt by fishermen and conservationists to preserve fish numbers.

The Lyme Bay Reserve is a partnership between the fishermen, fisheries managers, scientists and conservationists. It's evolved from a plan to limit fishing and protect reefs into a scheme which hopes to benefit everyone's interests. It's the first of its kind in the country and has been co-ordinated by the Blue Marine Foundation.

We've come to a part of the plan now, towards the end of it where we're comfortable that we're going to leave Lyme Bay with a legacy of sustainability and high quality. So the plan has changed over the years, but it is a model and we hope to take the model to other parts of the UK.

– Tim Glover, Chairman
Credit: ITV West Country

Angus Walker is one of around 40 fishermen in the bay who've agreed to work with conservationists. They follow a code of conduct to protect stocks and, as many chefs like to promote sustainability, their catch is now selling at a premium.

The most prominent difference that it's made to all of us in Axmouth harbour at least is an increase in our income of about 25%.

With the infrastructure increases that have been brought with us, we've been able to provide a much better product.

– Angus Walker, fisherman

The catch is collected in Axmouth and Beer and taken straight to top London restaurants which are willing to pay a premium because they know the fish has been caught sustainably.