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Newlyn Fish Festival catches a fresh haul of fans
6:31pm Monday 2nd September 2013 in News
There was nothing fishy about the attendance at this year’s Newlyn Fish Festival, as splendid sunny weather, top local chefs and a haul of fresh fish and seafood attracted an estimated 14,000 visitors.
Newlyn Fish Festival is the largest of its kind in the UK and visitor numbers blew last year out of the water with the festival almost at capacity. The event, which showcases the heritage and tradition of Newlyn, helped to raise vital funds for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fisherman.
The event was opened by Yan Goren, Breton fisherman and activist, and this year saw a fresh focus on the fishing industry, aiming to educate people about the reality, diversity and sustainability of commercial fishing.
Visitors flocked to the harbour to enjoy cooking demonstrations from top chefs, with local fishermen also giving demonstrations. The crew of local fishing boat the Emma Louise even hung and dropped a line of crabbing pots across the harbour, giving people the chance to understand more about traditional fishing methods.
The highly coveted ‘Cornish Fishmonger of the Year’ competition was closely fought out between the six contestants, won for the second year in a row by Kevin Byrne of Flying Fish Seafood in St. Austell.
The fish auction was also popular, with more people than ever bidding for a fresh seafood dinner.
Other highlights included the Lugger Rowing World Championships, performers on the music stages and the roving troupe of pop-up acrobats.
Festival organiser, Steve Ryman said: “The festival was wonderful and we were very pleased with the high turnout. Not only were we blessed by brilliant weather, we managed to go one up on last year’s event in every way. In the gig rowing contest for example, we more than doubled the number of entrants and as they paraded around the harbour it brought a tear to the eye of many a Cornishman to see them in full regalia.
“We had an even bigger and better fish display this year from Passionate About Fish and the huge range of chefs, fishermen, musicians and performers who were part of the line-up added a fantastic colour and flavour to the event. I want to thank all the people who supported us this year - we’re already looking forward to 2014!”
Kevin Bennetts, harbour commissioner and chairman of the festival committee said: “We’re delighted with how the festival was received this year and with the total monies raised for the Fisherman’s Mission. The Mission provides a vital lifeline to those working in the fishing industry and their families. It is their efforts that deliver the fantastic fresh fish to local chefs and eateries, giving the region its reputation as a top foodie destination.
“If we can give visitors a great day out with lots of amazing fresh fish and seafood and the chance to be educated about the reality, diversity and sustainability of commercial fishing then we have done our job.”