The Jersey Fish Festival is a family event to be held on Saturday 17 July 2010 on the Victoria Pier, the home of the Island’s commercial fishing fleet. It is organised by local fishermen and merchants who are taking the day off work to highlight the tremendous variety and high quality of locally-caught seafood. The Jersey fishery is a an ages-old diverse and active industry that contributes £7 million to the Island’s economy per annum thanks to the fishermen who work all-year-round to bring many varieties of seafood to local dinner tables, restaurants and markets
The spokesman for Jersey’s Fishermen’s Association, Don Thompson, said the festival was a showcase for the fresh produce that placed Jersey at the top of the culinary league at home and abroad.
‘Jersey enjoys a glowing reputation worldwide for its seafood which is prized by celebrity chefs to grace the tables of some of the UK’s finest restaurants. That is why the Island’s professional fishermen and merchants are putting on a big day for Islanders and visitors to participate in the celebration of our fishing heritage. Hosting a day of fun, music and activities is our way of demonstrating the pride we have in the industry and the Island,’ he said.
The festival – which is supported by Jersey Tourism and Island businesses - starts at 10 am and ends at 11 pm when a gala fireworks display will light up the sky above the harbour.
Jersey’s Minister for Economic Development, Senator Alan Maclean, said he was delighted that Jersey Tourism was able to support such an exciting celebration of local produce and talents as part of the Island’s varied year-round events programme.
‘The Jersey Fish Festival is not just a fantastic day out and a draw for visitors; it is also a celebration of the Island’s rich maritime heritage. The Fishermen’s Association and many others put their hearts and souls into organising this festival and what better place to showcase the quality of the seafood they catch than on the quayside where the fleet lands its catch. Jersey is blessed with a tremendous choice of seafood, which when combined with local agricultural produce, gives Islanders and visitors alike unparalleled menu options – a key component of the Jersey product offering,’ he said.
The festival programme features:
- Freshly caught seafood
- Genuine Jersey Association members farmers and crafts market
- Entertainment all day long including a traditional water carnival, the dressing of the Island’s fishing fleet and the blessing of the commercial fleet by the Dean of Jersey
- Live music with sea-shanty bands from France
- Touch tanks teeming with fish and shell fish
- Tours of merchants stores
- Local artist inviting children to make a sea sculpture
- Display of the Island’s heritage boat collection and much, much more
The festival will also enable the Jersey Fishermen’s Association to inform the public of progress in their efforts to acquire Marine Stewardship Council accreditation for the local lobster fishery which is now in the final stages. Mr Thompson and fellow members have been working on the Island’s bid for 18 months. If they are successful, the Jersey lobster fishery will be the first of its kind in Europe to be credited, which will not just be great news for the fishermen but also in reaffirming the Island’s reputation for quality produce.
Mr Thompson said the fishermen and merchants were looking forward to a day off to celebrate such an integral part of Jersey culture.
‘The overriding aims are for everyone to celebrate Jersey’s fishing and maritime heritage, have a fantastic day out, enjoy the entertainment, eat plenty of top quality seafood and meet the men and women who work in this important Island industry. Like fishermen everywhere, we work all year round , often at great distances from the Island – and sometimes in dangerous conditions - to bring home many varieties of seafood for local consumption and export so it is nice to relax once in a while,’ he said.