I have recently signed up to a great local scheme called Catchbox (see their site here). Catchbox is a ‘not for profit, community run co-op’ which connects local fisherman with the people who want to buy the fish they have caught. You have to pay in advance for a season (which lasts 12 weeks) and can choose to either buy 1kg of fish or 2kg of fish each week for the 12 weeks or every other week for the 12 weeks. You don’t know what you will get each week, as it depends what the fisherman or woman caught that day, but if you get to the pick up point early you can choose from the fish available. You can also opt out of having shellfish if you want to. Around Brighton and Hove, Worthing and Chichester volunteers have offered to run pick up points once a week where people can go and pick up their fish.
I had heard about this scheme a while ago, when their only pick up point was in the centre of Brighton and it didn’t seem practical to me at the time as it can be a hassle to get into town and I wasn’t sure I would always be able to make it. They have lots more pick up points now though and there is one in Hove now which is much easier for me. The other thing that helps is that I advertised Catchbox on my food sharing group (read more here) and some of my friends also signed up to it. I wasn’t able to pick up my first catch on Wednesday evening, but one of my friends picked it up when she picked up her own one.
Catchbox care about the fishing methods used, fishing with pole and line or static nets, not trawling ones, which I think can cause more damage. They are also encouraging people to eat a variety of fish and not just to buy the same fish all the time, which can contribute to the problems of over fishing. It is local, it is fresh, it is the most sustainable fish I’m going to get my hands on and it tasted delicious! Oh and one more thing – you can take your own box along to pick up the fish, so it is plastic free too – I forgot to give a box to my friend, but will definitely be doing that next time!
For our first share of the fisherman’s catch we had 7 nice sized plaice (we paid for 2kg). I love plaice and we put it in a bit of butter in a pan and had a seriously yummy dinner (in case regular readers are wondering about the butter, we are back on the dairy now, for the time being).
You do have to gut them and chop the heads, fins and tails off, but there wasn’t much to gut in the plaice and it didn’t bother me at all. I am really looking forward to seeing what is in the next catch!
In case you are wondering this is not a sponsored post and they didn’t ask me to write it – these views are my own. Please bear in mind I am only commenting on my experiences so far (i.e. having received one lot of fish) and will try to remember to provide an update on how it all went after this season is over!
I am currently undertaking a Year of Eco Challenges . If you have a moment I would really appreciate it if you would consider sponsoring me with an action (no money involved) on my DoNation page. Also if you liked this post please click like on Facebook and follow on Twitter – thanks so much!
Picture credits: Thanks to Catchbox for providing the picture at the top of this post! The picture of the plaice is my own.