After a tough time as the restaurant trade disappeared and demand fell, auctions in Normandy are seeing activity returning as the fleet makes its way back to sea.
Earlier this week the auctions in Normandy saw 115 tonnes of fish and shellfish sold – roughly 65% of the volume sold in in the previous week.
Granville has been the busiest port, with most of the whelk boats back at sea, followed by those targeting shellfish and whitefish. In Cherbourg activity at the Monday, Wednesday and Friday auctions is mainly around the inshore fleet, while the larger boats are expected to be back at sea shortly.
Port-en-Bessin’s larger trawlers, l’Europe, l’Alliance and Vauban, are no longer the only ones at sea as the coastal boats are returning to activity and in Fécamp Monday’s auction saw 16 tonnes of shellfish, whelk and whitefish.
Dieppe had already been getting busier, and 62 tonnes of shellfish, whelks and inshore fish went through Monday’s auction, making it the most dynamic of the Normandy auctions so far this week.
‘The market is still fragile and we need to have a rotation of boats so the market isn’t flooded,’ said l’Alliance’s owner. ‘The aim is to fit in with consumers who needs fresh fish.’
Franck Gouix of Groupe Normandie Seafood agreed, confirming that work towards organising a suitable schedule is taking place at regional level.
‘We have to find ways to rotate the boats’ activity,’ he said, commenting that a gradual recovery needs to be orchestrated so as to avoid any potential market overload.
He added that 30 to 35% of usual activity could be the initial objective, which could be reached this week.