Get ready, because this blog post contains A LOT of fish.
We all know Grimsby is famous for its fish. When I was on holiday in Tenerife with my family at 16, a local man came up to my brother who was wearing a Grimsby Town Football Club shirt and excitedly shouted “Fish!” right at him. But yet, it’s not very often you get to visit Grimsby Fish Market, one of the largest in the country – if not Europe.
That’s because it’s a private place, you can’t just rock up and buy your salmon for the week. It’s somewhere I’ve never been, but yet have heard so much about.
So, when the lovely ladies at Work Wise Women organised a trip to the market, my curiosity got the best of me and I signed right up!
We met at 6.45am on a bright and super sunny Monday morning and got into our wellies, coats and snazzy hat. Martin Boyers, Chief Executive of Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises, took us straight to the fish market where the morning’s auctions were well underway.
You see the black book that the auctioneer is holding? That is the same style that was used in the Port’s heyday, back in the 1960s. Heritage is of great importance to the Market, even after the massive £1.2m modernisation it went through just a few years ago. You can see some fascinating photos from the Fish Market’s history on the walls of the reception area, including one of an auctioneer holding the same black book.
Martin explained how the majority of the fish at Grimsby Fish Market is haddock (of course), followed by Cod. He told us all about how the fish are caught, how long it takes for them to arrive in Grimsby, and what is done to make sure the fish remain fresh for the wholesalers at the auction. Most of the fish is from Norway and Iceland, with others arriving from Denmark, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. Grimsby has often been described as a ‘hub for the seafood industry’, and with fish landing from so many countries before being distributed all over the country, it’s easy to see why.
Then, Martin showed us some of the other species found at the Market, from pollock, mackerel and lemon sole to red fish, ling and the ugliest monkfish I have ever seen. Some were pretty small…
… and then there was this…
… and this!
The Market itself was bustling, busy with wholesalers checking out the day’s stock and employees transporting fish around. Martin explained that the Market is never left with unsold fish, which is pretty impressive.
After we’d explored the auctions, we get out of our gear and headed to the offices for a breakfast bun and a quick presentation.
We saw a brief history of the market and how the Port of Grimsby East had grown and developed to make the most of new opportunities, the biggest being renewables and offshore wind.
Finally, we went out onto the balcony to see this…
What a beautiful view! The sun was shining and the water was so calm and still – just what you need for a quiet moment and some #mondaymotivation. We even spotted a couple of boats heading out to the offshore wind farms.
As well as being a bit of fun on a Monday morning, the visit helped Lindsay Boyers, one of the founders of Work Wise Women, to raise money for a specialist charity shop in Hessle supporting those with epilepsy. Through donations made on the morning, we raised over £100!