We have been granted a license to buy the daily catch direct from fishing vessels, making The Tolcarne Inn in Newlyn one of a handful of restaurants in Cornwall with this license.
The ‘Certificate of Designation as a Buyer of First Sale Fish’, issued by the Marine Management Organisation, allows Ben and the team to source seafood straight from day boat fishermen; these small vessels go in and out with the tides, fish immediately offshore, and use traditional and sustainable fishing techniques to catch their low-impact quotas.
Ben explained: “We work with a fantastic fish merchant in Stevenson Newlyn and that’s not going to change, but because we operate a daily-changing menu we have the opportunity to be more responsive and take small amounts straight off the boat – just hours after it has been caught.”
The day boats are a great source of sustainably-caught fish, and the fishermen we work with know that we’re happy to cook a wide variety of species. It means a lot more cleaning and filleting in-house, which is really positive as it means young chefs are perfecting those important skills.
Sheltering behind the sea wall in Newlyn, The Tolcarne Inn is just a few hundred metres from one of the busiest and most diverse fish markets in the UK; up to 53 different species can be landed in any one day.
Now Ben is taking his sourcing policy a step further and going straight to source, working directly with day boat fishermen to bring their catch to table.