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Should you still eat mackerel?

Mackerel has become a popular choice on menus for both restaurants and homes and justifiably so. Its flavour and relatively low cost are but two reasons for enjoying this humble fish but added health benefits are now understood by chefs and home cooks alike.

Recent news from the MCS (Marine Conservation Society) is that mackerel should no longer be eaten regularly has angered Cornish hand line fishermen across the county. Cornwall's quota (amount to be caught) equates to the amount of fish a large industrial trawler might harvest in less that a nights fishing.

To help clarify and put this situation in to context; if the total allowed catch of mackerel for the EU inn 2013 were represented as 1 mile, the total Cornish catch of 2012 would be represented by the first 3.5 yards of that mile.

This figures have been produce from local informed sources.

Total EU quota ()estimated) 250,000 tons
2013 EU quota 336,285 tons
2012 UK quota 166,765 tons
2012 Cornish handline quota 1750 tons
2012 Cornish hanline caught in 2012 648 tons

The above figures show that The Cornish mackerel caught is less than 0.04% of the total UK quota allocated and 0.026% of the estimated EU total quota.  If Cornwall catches the same amount of fish as last year it will represent only 0.019% of the total EU quota of 336,285 tons.

Anecdotally it is estimated that one large industrial vessel has the capacity to harvest around 1000 tons per nights fishing, so where is the logic in penalising our small boat local Cornish fishermen?

We believe in the sustainable way in which our Cornish fishermen catch their daily landings of mackerel. This century old method of catching mackerel, using one hook for one fish is never going to harm our mackerel fishery.

We strongly encourage our customers to continue to check the sourcing of the fish you buy, ask where it comes from and if necessary for proof of that source. The Cornish Fishmonger will continue to buy our fresh mackerel from Cornish fishermen working with handlines for the reasons set out above.

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