Letting the secret out

bridlington bay harbour
Photo courtesy of Visit East Yorkshire (VEY)

Bridlington is a traditional seaside town, with Victorian seafront properties overlooking the expansive sandy beach and a small and compact old town area.

The harbour sits at the heart of the town and looks busy but quietly unassuming. A mix of small to medium sized commercial boats and leisure craft are moored behind the sea walls, locals and tourists wander along the quayside and various people who earn their living from the fishing industry can be seen at work, fixing and preparing the boats and kit.

A capital of Europe?

Photo courtesy of Forgaard Agency
lobster pots at bridlington harbour
Photo courtesy of Forgaard Agency

But this unassuming presence belies the fact that this a record-breaking port. Because the Bridlington Bay fleet catch and land more lobster than anywhere else in the entirety of Europe. Yes, you read that right. They bring in over 300 tonnes of lobster every year, catching it in the traditional lobster pots that have been used for generations, landing it on the quayside where it either goes into the local wholesalers who sell it on to the domestic and International markets, or selling it directly to the local fishmongers and restaurants. And nowhere else in Europe lands more, making Bridlington the Lobster Capital of Europe.

Why is Bridlington Bay Lobster so special?

bridlington Bay Lobster logo on a door

The Bridlington Bay Lobster logo is your assurance that the lobster meets precise quality standards, has been fished with care and comes from a specific area of British waters. There are other benefits too;

Low food miles: For the UK consumer, an immediate advantage is the reduced food miles that a Bridlington Bay Lobster travels from pot to plate. With a significantly smaller carbon footprint than a lobster flown in from north America, Bridlington lobster can be eaten environmentally guilt-free

Supporting British industry: our fishing industry is vital to our heritage, culture and to the future of our coastal communities. Buying British lobster puts money back into these areas and protects their future 

Traceability: any lobster sold under the Bridlington Bay name has to fall into one of the following categories;

  • Be live lobster, caught within Bridlington Bay
  • Be live lobster caught and then processed into products within the Bridlington Bay area
  • Be lobster caught in Bridlington Bay and then processed within the boundaries of Yorkshire, with fully traceable documentation back to a Bridlington Bay fishing vessel, business or merchant

Caught with care: the Bridlington Bay fleet have a vested interest in sustaining the lobster stocks. Many come from fishing families that go back generations and they want the same opportunity for future generations. So the lobster are only landed when they are above a certain size and never when they are with eggs (‘berried).

Don’t keep it secret

As an island nation, fishing has always been a major part of our culture and industry. But how have we established ourselves as the crustacean capital while also keeping the accolade firmly under wraps? Maybe it’s down to Yorkshire modesty – or simply that everyone is too busy fishing to be seeking publicity. 

Whatever the reason, Bridlington Bay is now ready to share its claim to fame and is aiming to become as closely associated with lobster as Melton Mowbray is to pork pies, Cromer to crab and Jersey to potatoes.

There are many reasons to spread the word about Bridlington Bay Lobster. It’s native to the UK, healthy to eat, part of our history and heritage – and it tastes delicious! So play your part in spreading the word and putting it firmly on the food map. It’d be shellfish not to!

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