Aarik from Cormacks Seafood has always recognised the importance of differentiating between seafood caught by local small-scale fishing vessels and large industrial fishing fleets.
Industrial fishing is well recognised as one of the major drivers of the ocean crisis. Shaped by habitat destruction, high levels of by-catch and a large carbon footprint caused by worldwide shipping, industrial fishing is also helping to drive the climate crisis.
Small-scale fishers, on the other hand, generally use low-impact fishing practices, which don’t indiscriminately harm ocean life. They also catch smaller numbers of a wider variety of species, allowing fish stocks to remain healthy and sustainable. For small-scale fishers it is imperative that they look after their small patch of sea. Their livelihoods demand it.
Recognising the sharp contrast between these two parts of the sector, Aarik created Cormacks Seafood back in 2018. Launching with his (more sustainable) version of a can of tuna, he created a range of line-caught mackerel marinated in sauces and oils such as Korean BBQ, miso ginger and puttanesca.
Aarik and his team now have an independent fish shop based in Totnes, where they exclusively sell locally landed species. Here they encourage their customers to eat seasonally, using the species that are landed in abundance close by. This means omitting the top five most consumed seafood species (haddock, cod, tuna, salmon and warm water prawns).
In house they make several seafood products, most notably their handmade fish fingers. Their fingers use fresh fish, line-caught by small-scale, artisan boats from Devon. This makes their product the only packaged fish finger to exclusively use wild, British fish.
Their fish – pollack - is delicious and comes from healthy stocks, and is less commonly consumed than cod and haddock, which are two of the most fished species on the planet.
Their products are processed and packed close to the port in Devon. They omit the use of heavy processing plants and instead choose to employ local people to hand fillet and process each individual finger. They believe that their frozen seafood products have comparatively the lowest carbon footprint on the marketplace.
They also taste delicious. Their thickly cut fingers are made using 100% of the fillet, whilst their crumb, made with a blend of panko breadcrumbs, dill and spices, has zero preservatives.
Their product aims to target consumers who love seafood and fish fingers but cannot bring themselves to buy or feed their family the mass-produced ones available in the supermarket. Their product gives customers the peace of mind that they are buying something ethical, natural and locally made.
Wholesale orders are now being taken.