Dorset Shellfish - a real family run business

13 April 2021

Discover Dorset Shellfish

Dorset Shellfish are a family fishing business based in Weymouth and Portland. They own 2 fishing boats which set off from Weymouth harbour when the weather and tides allow them. They specialise on sustainably caught lobsters, crabs and line caught Sea Bass. They also catch some other species of fish and shellfish when possible; pollack, cod, mackerel, and small local prawns. The crew on the water is father, son, and son-in-law, who between them with 2 extra crew when need run the 2 commercial fishing boats Marauder and Raider.

When the catch is landed, it is taken to their unit on Portland to be processed by hand. The crab and lobsters are cooked, with the crab meat being carefully handpicked by mother and daughter, (Caroline and Stef). This is a time-consuming process, but well worth handpicking as you end up with large flakes of fresh juicy white and brown meat. They then use the crab meat to make dressed crabs, tubs of crab meat, crab cakes, pates and soups which have won Taste of the West and Great Taste awards in the last 6 years. Caroline and Stef also make their homemade fish pies, crab and mac cheese, various fish cakes, soups and dressed lobsters.

Caroline and Stef bring their shellfish and wet fish to Canford Cliffs Village Hall every Thursday morning. They sell their own catch and from other Weymouth and Portland boats. What they can’t source locally it is brought up from Brixham and Plymouth Fish Markets. Oysters and from The Crab House Café Oyster Farm in Weymouth, mussels from Teignmouth, smoked salmon, and kippers from Bridport. There is usually a homemade “oven ready fish dish” available as well on a Thursday.

You can also find them trading with the Dorset Farmers Markets in Sherborne and Shaftesbury once a month, when able to do so they can also be found at food festivals and shows around Dorset. They also open their unit on Portland on a Wednesday and Friday to the public with a small range of products, if you have a drive to Portland Bill call in and see them.

All of Dorset Shellfish are passionate about shellfish and fish, Caroline and Stef and are always happy to give guidance on how to cook and prepare the fish. They will happily prepare the fish for you, and are happy for you to pre-order for collection on a Thursday, they are happy to take order no matter how small. The boys on the water take sustainability of the catch seriously, all undersized or wrong species are returned to the sea alive and unharmed, they know this helps towards the future of the fishing industry and preservation of species.

For more information on Dorset Shellfish please visit them on their website.


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