Life long fisherman Keith has joined our team at White Row. Bringing his wealth of knowledge from over 35 years of fishing to our Fishmongers counter. Bringing new recipes, catches and so, so much more.
Phil has been introducing Keith to all of you for a few weeks now, enabling him to take over the counter when Phil leaves to go on his travels. We wish Phil all the best, and know that our customers will miss his cheeriness and chat.
“As a child I was a keen to watch the fishing industry in Brixham and wanted to be part of it.
At the age of 14 i started selling line caught fish by knocking on doors! “
( Do we tell the story of him selling mackerel door to door without his mum knowing? Perhaps best to keep this secret ! )
The love of the water and the next catch propelled him into a career on the waves.
“I briefly went onto the bigger boats, including beam trawlers, scallopers and crabbers . Whilst working on the larger scale trawlers which took me all around the UK, I ended up in Scotland, to an extremely remote harbour village in the Highland region named Kinlochbervie.
I gained valuable experience from every vessel that I worked on, but I hoped that one day I would own my own fishing boat and be able to catch fish using only rod and line just like I had when I was 14.
Whilst in Kinlochbervie, I spent my time on the crabbing boat (45ft ) hauling daily catches of lobster, crayfish and crab some days catching 4 tons a day! The whole experience enhanced my education of how sea food is sourced from around the UK”
Keith then moved back to the West Country to his home town of Torquay, and with the help from his father purchased his first fishing boat that provided rod & line caught fish and seafood for the next 30 years.
“ I would land my catch direct to Brixham fish market. The quality of my fish was the most important aspect of my business. I suppose you could say that my fish was always the first to sell. I prided myself ( as like many other fishermen ) on my line caught sea bass, mackerel, lobster, cuttle fish and crabs.
The fish were caught and then plunged straight into slush ice ( a mixture of sea water and ice )
Not so for the scallops, for this I would dive in up to 18mtrs of water, 2 miles off shore normally in the early hours of the morning in all weathers, for up to 1.5 hours per dive sometimes up to 3 dives a day. It was exhausting work but ensured quality. Plus being claustrophobic this was NOT my favourite kind of catch!
The care of the fish that was sold from my boat made my haul desirable to the Brixham and Plymouth buyers. Always being among the first to be sold and commanded the highest price’s because of the care and quality of the fish.
The wealth of knowledge gained from years at sea and markets means I can tell exactly where and when the fish was caught, which vessel landed the fish allowing me to purchase only from day boats using sustainable methods. Just by looking at the fish and knowing its provenance you can tell how old it is “
We feel very lucky that Keith has decided that his ‘sea-legs’ now prefer land and we snapped up the chance to ask him to come and join us when we knew Phil was off on his travel’s.
Keith will now be sourcing White Row Farms fish daily, direct from Brixham fish market. Hand choosing only the highest quality fish landed by day boats, meaning that we can now also tell you even the name of the boat and the fisherman that caught it and how it was caught!
What does this mean for our White Row customer’s? No matter what day you visit the farm you can be assured that the fish you see on the counter or used in any of our dishes in the cafe and restaurant or pan fried specials from our chippy, will have been landed within 24 hours only using sustainable methods.
We think thats something worth talking about!
If you ring our mongers on 01373 831641 before 2pm, and it’s available from the fish market we can get it to our counter the next day. Guaranteeing the fish being landed within 24 hours of being caught.
To have a new member of staff join our team here at the farm with such extensive knowledge of every aspect of the catch including cooking each and every type of fish that we sell, has created a real excitement amongst you, our customers but especially, with our chefs!
Please say hello to Keith on the counter.