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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 130

Date:- 20 December 2003

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THE 2003 TOP 5 FISH CHART,
seas Cod netted in as number 1.

WITH Merseyside being a haven for tourists, 2004 will not see our famous sea side food suffering. Cod is still a mainstay of the UK seafood market with a retail volume of 44,000 tonnes frozen and 17,000 tonnes chilled in 2003 and most popular fish sold in fish is... Yes you got it correct... Cod, with 8,600 fish being sold in fish and chip shops through out the UK. Fish and chips is still the UK's most popular takeaway food favourite with 280 million meals being eaten last year and we have the top 5 National Fish Charts for 2003 are as follows...

A tasty dish, COD, is still number one!

Not to fishy that it came in second, Haddock.

Huss swims in at number three.

At number five... Not the most popular at the dinner place is plaice, but still tasty.

An army of High Street fishmongers and fish and chip shop owners throughout the UK will help remind consumers that cod is still on the menu as European leaders meet to decide next year's fishing quotas.

John Rutherford, Chief Executive of the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish), a Non Departmental Public Body said:- "Negative headlines generated around the annual setting of fishing quotas and the related concerns about North Sea cod stocks is leading to confusion in the High Street. Seafood businesses have asked us to give them independent, factual information on cod stocks to help deal with customer enquiries and our message is that although we are concerned about North Sea cod stock levels, this will have little impact on UK consumers' enjoyment of cod." Seafish has issued fact sheets to 10,000 fishmongers and fish friers with advice to customers on cod availability. John Rutherford told us:- "The vast majority of cod we eat in the UK is sourced from sustainable global stocks, traded on an international market. More than 90 per cent of cod consumed in the UK is imported from areas such as Icelandic waters and the Barents Sea. Areas which are actually increasing their cod quotas in 2004 due to careful stock management. In fact, from a total quota of 810,000 tonnes of cod available across the Northern Hemisphere, just three per cent comes from the North Sea."

Mr Rutherford acknowledged concern to us over low North Sea cod stocks and the impact it has on the communities traditionally served by the fishery, but stressed it was not all bad news.

"The scientific advice on North Sea stocks is much more positive than last year," he said. "There are signs of a cod recovery and that the measures put in place by our fishermen are working.

There is also good news for other species. Haddock stocks have increased dramatically - up 17 per cent from last year and the highest it has been for 30 years. Stocks of saithe and nephrops are also healthy.

Our fishermen are taking a responsible approach with new ideas coming forward for ways to manage the mixed fishery - so that boats are able to continue fishing for other species but leaving cod stocks to continue recovery."

He also encouraged consumers to try new fish and shellfish dishes.   "We have a well-managed mackerel and herring fishery but most of these healthy, oil-rich fish are exported. Likewise, 82% of the UK fishing fleet is made up of shellfish boats fishing for a vast range of species - prawns, crabs, lobsters - most of which is being exported.

We encourage the public to be more adventurous. With 100 different varieties available in the UK - there's something to suit all tastes."

 

Christmas gift for St John Ambulance.
Report by Nick Williams of Health Star and Photograph by Patrick Trollope.

VOLUNTEERS from St John Ambulance will receive a Christmas donation from hospital staff to say thank you for helping to make the Trust’s recent major accident exercise a real success.

Staff from Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, together with members from St John Ambulance, recently set up a ‘realistic’ train crash, which was used to test the Trust’s major incident contingency plans.

The volunteers from St John Ambulance played ‘role reversal’, instead of giving out first aid they had to pretend to be ‘casualties’ – and played their roles like true thespians!

To thank them, the Trust will make a donation of £250, which will help the organisation with everyday running costs.

Ruth Janes, the Trust’s Assistant General Manager in Medicine, said:- “On November 16th we carried out our major accident exercise to test that our plans were sufficient to deal with a civilian disaster efficiently. We needed casualties to conduct the exercise and St John Ambulance kindly provided us with volunteers. On the day there was a very ‘real’ atmosphere and everything went really well but this would not have been possible without the help of the volunteers. To say a big thank you to them, we will be making a donation on December 18th – just in time for Christmas!”

Welcoming the donation, Dave Prescott, Southport Divisional Officer for St John Ambulance and who is also the Equipment Officer at the Liverpool headquarters, said:- “The donation is a nice gesture, which will help with our everyday work. The volunteers really enjoyed helping out on the day, it was interesting for them to be on the receiving end of treatment instead of giving first aid!”

Representatives from the Trust will be going along to the Southport St John Ambulance Christmas party on December 18th to make the donation and join in the festivities.

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