By Luke Griffiths
The Port to Plate initiative was recently launched this February at JAM in Cardiff Bay. The purpose is to create a distinctiveness around the identity of Welsh seafood and help to support the industry, from fishing to selling. The aim of the project is to increase public awareness around Welsh seafood (#WelshSeafood), ranging from different types of fish and shellfish, which are all caught on the Welsh coast.
The project seeks to educate consumers on where to buy seafood and what to look out for, as well as how to cook it at home. The project is being funded by European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), which is funded by both the Welsh Government and the European Union. It is raising awareness on its social media platforms; @porttoplate or @porthirplat (Welsh version) on Instagram and Twitter; and Port to Plate or Porth i’r Plât (Welsh version) on Facebook.
This innovation is not only reviving interest in an industry that is vital to Wales but is also opening up options to people who are looking for a healthy and more sustainable food source.
Seafood can help to reduce your carbon footprint, as, unlike the farming industry, fishing requires no processed farmland for raising and growing crops to feed the animals. This also means no changes have to be made to the land in order to help care for the fish, decreasing the need for deforestation which conventional farming demands. Carbon footprint can especially be reduced when consuming local fish that requires less transportation.
But what are the health benefits of eating fish? Well, fish is just one of the many healthy sources of food in the world as it contains high amounts of vitamin D, protein and omega 3 fatty acids, which are important to the body’s daily functionality.
If you are unsure how to prepare this sumptuous seafood, then look to sources such as Seafish, which can suggest what fish to look for when buying and how to cook it. Alternatively, ask the local fishmonger for help, they are the experts after all!
” Why not see what Cardiff Market has to offer?”
One of the major ways that you can get involved in this initiative is to begin shopping at local independent fishmongers. This can really help with their trade and allow them to compete with large retailers. Many of these small businesses get their fish from small family shipping vessels which make up a large part of the Welsh fleet. One of the best places to find these small businesses is to go to the markets; Swansea Market has an array of fish stalls that have a wide range of choice, but looking closer to home, why not see what Cardiff Market has to offer? E. Ashton Fishmongers cannot be missed if you have a functioning sense of smell. They host a variety of options of fish from across Wales and the world and seek to produce as little waste and be as sustainable as possible when purchasing their marine life.
If you are looking for more information concerning sustainable fish and shellfish types, you should consider looking at sites such as Marine Conservation Society and The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, which have information about which types of fish are being sourced responsibly and are more sustainable to consume. There is also a lot of action being taken in Wales to help support the industry and the environment; consider looking at the Welsh Government’s action plans for Marine life and The Wales Seafood Strategy by SWAC (Seafish Wales Advisory Committee), who are trying to support a thriving and sustainable plan for the Welsh fishing industry.