In total, there are up to 42 different species caught and landed by the NDFA fishing fleet. There is a range of white fish and shellfish caught, with varying seasonality.
The main white fish landings are ray, which is a year round fishery with the largest landings being made later in the year. The bulk is made up of Thornback, Blonde, Small Eyed and Spotted Ray with small numbers of Sandy and Cuckoo Ray. There are no undulate Ray, or any of the prohibited skate species, landed in North Devon.
In addition to ray, we have a good supply of flatfish including Plaice, Sole and Turbot. Not all have a commercial value as food so some are used
for potting bait. There are seasonal fisheries which are targeted, the largest being the summer Squid season. Although Sea Bass are caught throughout the year, and at certain times, produce very good landings. During the winter months, Cod, Haddock and Whiting are in abundant supply.
The shell fishery operates throughout the year with vessels alternating between lobster, crab and whelks. Currently we have vessels working from Ilfracombe, Bideford, Appledore, Clovelly and Padstow, and there are also some non-NDFA members landing to the North Devon ports.
There are very strict Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (IFCA) bylaws in place within the 6 mile limit, with a 90mm minimum landing size on lobster as well as 150mm on female Brown Crab, 160mm on male Brown Crab, 130mm on Spider Crab and 45mm on Whelk, making it one of the most sustainable shell fisheries in Britain.
Appledore fish dock has the advantage of having a fish processor meaning that fresh fish can be supplied to customers within 24 hours of the fish being landed. The fish is either landed from day boats or from larger vessels that will stay at sea for no longer than three days, ensuring that the fish is fresh and of a very high standard.