Online fish sales are an instant success
FOUR NEWLYN fishermen have broken the mould by bypassing the port's fish market to instead sell their catch over social networking site Twitter for what they say is a better price.
Instead of selling their fish to buyers on the market, the four day boat fishermen sell their catch over private auction online direct to restaurants and fishmongers.
Interest in Dreckly Fish has grown massively during its first three weeks' trading, with the virgin business receiving bids from buyers as far away as Scotland.
Kevin Penney, who skippers an under 10m boat called Bess, said the response has been overwhelming.
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He said: "It all centres around traceability issues. We have been thinking about doing it for quite a while and feel the timing is right. Following the horsemeat scandal people want to know where their food comes from.
"The response has been incredible. We knew people would find it interesting. This is a way of making what we sell available to more people. We are trying to get a better price for our product."
The skipper is working alongside Paul Jane, who skippers the Northern Star, Andrew Stevens, with Benediction, and Francis Harris, who skippers Guiding Star.
Each boat will sell its typical seasonal catch – shellfish, such as lobster and brown crab, in the summer and fish such as mackerel and pollack in the winter.
The business has already registered 16 buyers. Mr Penney said other than the fishermen's sustainable catching methods, a major attraction for their customers, many of whom are based in London, was that their system can cut a day out of the delivery process.
He said: "In the market, we ice the fish overnight, the following morning it goes down to the auction. We put the fish up for auction the day we catch it and we deliver it to London the next day by 4pm.
"This is not a retaliation. Unfortunately, as fishermen ... we put our fish on the market and we get the price we are given.
"I think this is the future, this is why we are doing this, we have to become businessmen.
"The response of the fishermen in Newlyn has been staggering. There are fishermen cheering us on, and other fishermen who want to join when this is established and proven to work."