Sourcing & Seasonality
From the team behind Henderson Seafood, Henderson to Home is committed to responsibly sourcing seafood from around the British Isles, from fishermen we trust and who use low-impact methods we have seen for ourselves.
Over the next week or so we will be sharing profiles of the boats and fisherman we buy from, so you can better understand the supply chain for each of our products. We are committed to transparency and helping customers understand our supply chain.
Our produce is 90% wild, caught using;
- Hand diving - our scallops are picked from the seabed by hand, by brave, committed divers in the Isle of Mull and Brixham. This means minimum disturbance to the seabed enabling stocks and the wider ecosystem to continue to thrive, unlike the devastating impact of dredging the seabed.
- Pots - crab, lobsters, langoustines and Torbay prawns are all pot-caught, meaning the open mesh frame pots are baited and placed on the seabed to attracting shellfish who climb in over a 24 hour period.
- Rod & line fishing - exactly as it sounds, this is small volume line fishing, starting from just one rod on the back of a boat. This eliminates bycatch as there are no unwanted discards - anything not of size is returned live to the sea - and is a minimal-stress method.
- Small gillnets - these generally have low environmental impacts with minimal seabed interaction. The size of fish caught can be determined by the mesh size, helping to avoid catching juvenile fish.
- Rope growing - mussel seeds go into a sock around a long rope. On the water, the sock with the rope is connected to buoys, dropped into the water, and left to grow in the ocean for at least a year. After one year, juicy mussels are bursting through the socks.
- Farming - we use Chalk Stream trout from Hampshire, and Loch Duart salmon from Scotland - both farmed sources rather than wild. Stocks on wild salmon and trout are so low that farming is the only possible option for us. Both have lots of further information on their website.
Sometimes we buy from bigger 8-crew boats around the coast who are able to catch bigger, prime fish such as turbot and brill, from deeper waters and in inclement weather. These boats make longer trips than the day boats and can fish when the majority of our small crew day boats cannot, but commit to short tows to ensure quality of the landings.
In British waters the ecosystem is so diverse that you could eat a different fish every day of the year - incredible seafood is on our doorstep, and shouldn't need to be shipped from the other side of the world. Enjoying seasonal produce is one of the best ways to lower the impact of a diet that includes seafood.
Some fish are caught year-round, but the below gives a general indication of in-season choices you can make.
|Spring: March, April, May||
Brill, Bream, Lemon Sole, Megrim, Mackerel, Plaice, Pollock, Turbot, Whiting
|Summer: June, July, August||
Brill, Herring, John Dory, Mackerel, Megrim, Plaice, Sprat
|Autumn: September, October, November||
Anchovy, Brill, Monkfish, Megrim, Pollack, Red Mullet, Sea Bass
|Winter: December, January, February||
Bream, Brill, Lemon Sole, Megrim, Monk, Pollack, Red Mullet, Sea Bass, Sprat, Turbot, Whiting
PACKING & RECYCLING
We know that protecting the environment start by the choices you make at home, from food consumption to packaging. Our cardboard delivery boxes are fully recyclable via domestic waste collection and our gel ice packs are re-usable. We do use plastic vacuum-sealed bags for fillets and fish which have to be disposed of. We went through lots of iterations for our packaging to ensure safety and cooling as well as reducing waste and use of plastic.
Brixham harbour runs a net recycling programme that helps the commercial fishing nets that are used in the area be recycled - stripping them of metalwork, rubber and rope, and then the materials are re-used.
IN RESPONSE TO SEASPIRACY (NETFLIX)
HENDERSON SEAFOOD / HENDERSON TO HOME
If you haven't watched Seaspiracy (still dont know why it wasn't called Conspira-Sea) yet we would recommend for a shocking view on commercial fishing. Its a painful and brutal picture of the world's fishing industry but important to watch if we want progress.
BUT this film's narrow lens and final message of "don't eat fish or you are a massive c*#t" is so unconstructive and we couldn't disagree more.
We were super disappointed that he didn't explore any low impact fishing methods. He didn't get on board a day boat, that was using pots to catch shellfish, pole and lines for pollock and sea bass, or small netting boats. He didn't look at hand diving for scallops...
He didn't talk about the recycling programs most fishing boats are signed up to. In Brixham, boats recycle old nets and nearly all the boats we know pick up plastic from the ocean when they are out fishing.
This documentary footage was from huge big commercial fishing boats, the majority of which was not in the UK. It should not be taken as a justified attack on all fishermen - whose genuinely sustainable and environmentally low-impact operations werent explored or celebrated as an alternative for consumers who want to eat seafood.
The answer isn't to stop fishing! We think the answer is to know where your fish came from and prioritise local, day boat, seasonal options. Be confident to ask the right questions about where fish in a restaurant dish or fishmongers' counter comes from, and how it was caught. If they can't give you full traceability and/or the response makes you feel uncomfortable then make your decision.
Corruption in big organisations, is not a surprise to most people but the fish supply chain has perhaps not come under the same scrutiny until now. MSC labels, red tractor labels - they're all unreliable, but we have the power to educate ourselves about dredging, farming, seasonality, and the corruption of 'big business'. Empower yourself to know who to trust!
We think this documentary will be a real positive for the fishing industry, we just wish it had explored the more sustainable fishing alternatives.
LOCH DUART SALMON
Loch Duart’s view is that the Seaspiracy film does not inform at all about salmon fishing (or commercial fishing) and is more activism/sensationalism than journalism. We are happy to address your concerns. At Loch Duart our aim is to produce the best possible salmon with the lowest possible impact to the environment. As a result of this Loch Duart pioneers the way for fish health, sustainability, and welfare.
Loch Duart salmon start off life carefully selected from a unique Scottish brood stock which can be traced back to the wild salmon from the rivers near our sites for over 40 years. The result of this careful process is Loch Duart salmon is as genetically as close to a wild salmon as possible. Loch Duart salmon receive a lifetime of care. With our farming being on a smaller scale, our stock enjoy nearly twice the amount of husbandry per salmon as the larger producers; we have smaller pens and more staff per fish raised. Loch Duart has gone to great lengths to develop a fish feed which is unique to Loch Duart. The result is a diet as close to a wild salmon’s diet as possible and the feed comes from sustainable, fully traceable sources.
With regards to the Seaspricacy documentary please find below comment and a Q&A from the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation of which Loch Duart and the other Scottish salmon farming companies.
Dr Iain Berrill of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) said:
“While this film raises some very important issues, the claims made against salmon farming in Scotland are wrong, misleading and inaccurate. As a result, this part of the documentary was simply privileged activism masquerading as investigatory film-making.”
“To take just a few of these exaggerated and emotive claims - salmon farming is not responsible for degrading wild fish stocks for use in feed, lice on our fish are not out of control and claims equating organic waste from salmon farms to human waste are misleading and have been repeatedly de-bunked. Farmed Scottish salmon swim and shoal freely in high-quality, cool seawater that is constantly being refreshed by tides and currents.
“Aquaculture is a key part of the answer, not the problem, with regards to concerns over wild fish stocks.The United Nations has recognised this fact which is why it supports fish farming as crucial to feeding the world's growing population, now and in the future."
1. They had footage of salmon being eaten alive by infestation of sea-lice parasites and said it was a common reality of fish farming across the world - that fish are made to swim in circles of their own filth.
Scottish salmon do not swim in dirty water - they require high-quality, cool, oxygen-rich water to survive which is the very reason they’re reared in nets pens where millions of gallons of clean seawater constantly flows through. Sea lice levels remain consistently low at just 0.52 per fish in 2020, that’s just one female louse (a naturally occurring pest found in seas and on healthy fish around the world) for every two fish reared.
3. They showed what they called fish farm mortality bins and claimed 50 per cent of salmon are dying from egg to plate and from hatch to catch and this is the ‘mortality mountain.’
The mortality rate for Scottish salmon in 2020 was 14.5%. The salmon farming sector is unique in UK farming for openly publishing monthly data detailing mortality rates and other health challenges. When fish unfortunately do die they are kept in appropriate containers, prior to disposal in full adherence with regulations
4. They said the fish are dying from anaemia, lice infestation, infectious diseases, chlamydia and heart disease and that it’s well-fare abuse.
All Scottish salmon farmers employ dedicated fish veterinarians and fish welfare staff to help care for their animals to the highest possible standards. All farms are also regularly inspected and audited by regulators, welfare accreditation schemes and customers to ensure best practice is adhered to.
5. It was claimed people are eating grey fish which is painted pink because of the colouring added to their feed.
Farmed salmon feed contains an organic, naturally sourced carotenoid which replicates elements of a wild diet. As an anti-oxidant and source of pro-vitamin A it is good for the fish’s immune system and growth – resulting in not only healthier fish but also the familiar ‘salmon pink’ colour of fillets.
See https://www.scottishsalmon.co.uk/facts/faqs/fish-health-welfare/why-is-salmon-pink for more.