Married to the sea
Last updated: 12.00am, Monday 14th December 2015
“He told me that he was married to the sea and that I was the affair”
What better time than Christmas can you find to thank the extraordinary people who have been in partnership with us since 1995!
FishWorks proudly serves the freshest and finest quality crabs & diver-caught scallops that come from Britannia Shellfish based in Beesands, near Kingsbridge, Devon, an amazing family run business founded by Nick and Anita Hutchings.
About the people…
Anita explains: “When Nick and I started going out together in 1985, he told me that he was married to the sea and that I was the affair!’ But, in 1995, he had a momentary lapse and decided to come ashore. At that point, we set up the wholesale business. However, it only lasted 5 minutes, he missed the life at sea and before long he was back catching, and I continued the business on shore. Nick comes from a long line of fishermen, and his father’s fathers have fished in Start Bay for generations however today, the female members in this extraordinary family business are also heavily involved. Anita is in charge of sales, and daughters, Rachael, Becky and Rhianna, work at the wholesale shellfish unit, run the family’s beach front fish restaurant, maintain the websites and run the office.
About the product…
Crabs are caught using handmade ‘inkwell’ type pots. Potting is a very sustainable method of fishing as there is no “by-catch” of non-target species, and small and soft crabs can be returned to the sea alive to mature and breed.
Anita explains, “The welfare of the stock is really important and we insist the conditions are tiptop. All our stock is live and kept in onshore, chilled and aerated seawater tanks. When you are this close to livestock, you feel a respect and responsibility, and a desire to maintain excellent conditions. I also make sure that I have a market for every single product so that nothing is wasted.”
“Diver caught” scallops are another of Britannia’s specialities. Each scallop is picked by hand from the seabed. This is an extremely sustainable method of fishing for scallops as there is only a certain quantity an individual diver can manage to catch at any one time. “When we drain the water ready for preparation and packing, we always get a round of applause as the scallops clap their shells together!!!” says Anita.
About the partnership…
Once the daily orders are carefully packed and labelled they are taken to Paignton and placed on specialist refrigerated fish transport for delivery into our restaurants in Marylebone and Swallow Street early the following morning.
No two days are the same at Britannia, because what the family do is no ordinary job. It is governed by weather and the time of year. For past 20 years our chefs have been helping keep the stocks turning over and super fresh by sourcing from Britannia and ensuring our valued guests enjoy only the finest seafood possible.
Nick, Anita, Rachael, Becky and Rhianna - we are proud to be your partners – Thank You!
The FishWorks team