OUR BOAT ROCKFISHER
We've spread our nets as our fishing boat Rockfisher takes to the seas. In 2019 Mitch and Rockfish took a very exciting step towards a commercial fishing alliance to supply our own restaurants, something that been one of Mitch’s goals since opening the first Rockfish in Dartmouth in 2010. 'Being able to catch and cook our own fish and bring it from sea to plate each day is unique for a seafood restaurant group and we are delighted to be able to offer this experience to our customers. Our beautiful blue boat Rockfisher takes to the seas all the way along England's Seafood Coast and up to Dorset, we cook up her entire daily catch and serve it to you by lunchtime. With the entire daily catch from Rockfisher in addition to the fish we source from Brixham Fish Market and elsewhere, we now have such an incredible selection and variety to offer'.
Keep a look out for Rockfisher when you’re next in Brixham, which is landing fish daily to Rockfish & The Seahorse. Mitch is very happy to have teamed up with super-skipper Nick Rich along with his co-owners and business partners Nick Fisher and Jamie Macdonald who provided the backing behind the boat and have been paramount to getting Nick and the boat out to sea to make this dream possible.
Mitch says ‘With a beautiful boat and the infectious enthusiasm from Skipper Nick it’s a very exciting partnership, bringing fish of such great quality ourselves direct to our customers on the same day and with close to zero food miles, it really is a dream come true for us. Nick shares the same ethos as we do when it comes to quality and sustainability. I think there is something unique and truly wonderful about fish restaurants working directly with fishermen, it's so important to be as close to the source as possible. As we have grown we have built a facility in Brixham to handle the whole catch directly from the boat to prepare it and send it daily to our restaurant”.
Skipper Nick says “ In Britain we export 75% of what we catch from our seas, and import 80% of the fish that we eat like prawns, tuna, cod and salmon. Basically, we don’t eat our own fish. This has always struck me as immensely sad. Why do we export all the good stuff - the brown crabs, velvet crabs, spider crabs, lobsters, gurnard, squid, cuttlefish, bass, black bream, monkfish, soles and delicious line caught mackerel? I want to see our fish; British fish, caught and enjoyed in this country, cooked, shucked, picked and devoured. I want it to be loved and cherished and that’s what we do on the Rockfish Trawler. We catch the best fish and we treat it in the most respectful and careful manner possible, was so that when it leaves the hold of our trawler, iced in boxes each day, it could not be any fresher or in any finer condition. I was born to be at sea and the happiest person alive to be fortunate enough to be building a business around my passion. It’s not work, it’s my life”
Follow our journey in pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @therockfishuk and you can follow Nick @trawlerman_nick
MAN OF THE SEA by Nick Rich, Skipper of Rockfisher
Eyes wide open before the alarm bell can ring
Thoughts in my head of what today will bring
Climb out of my berth, say good bye to the night
Glance to the east to catch first glimpse of light.
There are plans to be made and work to be done
A visit to Mr Gardner is priority number one
The heart of the boat and our constant friend
I kneel by his side and to him I tend.
Cast off the stern lines, then away with the bow
She slips in to gear and gives a small growl
So powerful, yet graceful she pushes along
The quay, then the pier heads and Westbay now gone.
This is where our work now begins
As we shoot away gear with the biggest of grins
We now have time to take in the view
But no morning’s complete till we’ve had a brew!
We feel the net shake as it covers the ground
We sit in anticipation of what it has found
The hydraulics engage and the warps both come tight
We watch the mighty net return from depths to light.
The cod end swings u the fish now aboard
We gut them, then box them, for they’re our reward
The sun is now setting as our boat heads back home
The fish gone to market and I’m back alone.
My family and friends are all miles away
But with a smile on my face, I think of my day.
It’s not always easy, but it’s the life for me
For better or for worse, now a man of the sea.