11 November 2015
For the first time in decades, fresh fish landed in Milford Haven will be smoked commercially on the docks. Dragon Fish will be making history when it lights its kilns for the first time this month in brand new premises at Milford Fish Docks.
The company is the first tenant in the brand new purpose-built fish processing units developed by the Port of Milford Haven and managed by the Port’s property division Quayside Properties. The project has been supported by the European Fisheries Fund through the Welsh Government and the development is part of a scheme to revitalise the seafood industry locally. Dragon Fish will be hot smoking fish including herring, mackerel and haddock using a traditional kiln that burns oak chips.
The Natural Resources Minister, Carl Sargeant, AM, said “We welcome initiatives like this that revive important local industries and add value to local food.”
Pat Condron from Dragon Fish said location was key to their business. “Our being here is important. Fish from Milford Haven was always considered high quality in London. That strong brand is still remembered,” he said. “Kippers from here were eaten far and wide.”
Business partner, Donal Box, used to come to Milford Haven from London to buy fish and is very excited to see new investment on the docks. “Coming to smoke fish here, more than 30 years after I last came to buy fish at auctions is lovely,” he said. “I’ve talked to customers in Cardiff and further afield and they are really excited about getting smoked haddock, mackerel and kippers from Milford once again.”
Milford Haven is already Wales’ largest fishing port. However for the Port of Milford Haven the arrival of the smokery is an important moment in the project to encourage the return of large scale local processing of fish landed here.
“In their heyday the docks processed and auctioned thousands of tonnes of fish and shellfish each year, all packed and shipped on trains up to London,” said Clare Stowell, Manager of Quayside Properties. “The town was known as the place fish comes from. We want to strengthen those ties between fishing and the local economy once again by getting businesses like Dragon Fish to add value to catches right here on the docks. With businesses like this and greater demand for locally landed seafood come more jobs and more investment in the town’s economy. There’s a great deal of excitement over the appeal of the area to fish processors and with a selection of units available we look forward to welcoming more new businesses and expanding the potential of the area for commercial fishing and food processing” she added.
To enquire about opportunities for your business, contact Quayside Properties on 01646 696380.