Seasonal Seafood of the Month - Mackerel

As well as being versatile and relatively cheap, best of all is the fact that mackerel are available in abundance off the Cornish coast for much of the year.

For many years mackerel were regarded as a cheap, low-value and uninspiring fish. More recently with more adventurous recipes and the proven health benefits of eating oily fish (such as mackerel, sardines and herring) containing 3-omega oils the demand for mackerel has rocketed. Despite the increase in popularity Mackerel remain an excellent value fish which is also incredibly versatile.

The South West Handline mackerel fishery remains one of only three fisheries in the UK to have received certification by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) which is awarded in recognition of a sustainable fishery.

During the Summer months the fishery consists of a fleet of small boats of between 15 to 30ft in length working from harbours and coves around West Cornwall, such as St Ives, Hayle, Sennen and Penberth. These boats usually work at dawn and dusk fishing close to shore with traditional handlines. Each line consists of 25 to 30 hooks baited only with brightly coloured feathers. The line is then jigged up and down until the fish are found, once hooked the line is quickly pulled up, the fish are flicked off and then lowered again. Later in the year larger vessels of up to 40ft in length fishing from Looe, Mevagissey and Newlyn also fish for mackerel using handlines.

Other fresh fish and shellfish in season

This month you can also enjoy:

Bream Brill Gurnard Mussels
Hake Salmon Monkfish  Crab
Silver mullet
Plaice Turbot  Lobster
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