Festival to celebrate east coast’s rich fishing heritage

A fishing coble at Staithes
picture: Brian Nicholson
A fishing coble at Staithes picture: Brian Nicholson

A new festival is set to celebrate the rich fishing heritage of the North York Moors coast.

Fish. Fillet. Feast! is being held on Saturday June 18 at five different venues along a stretch of coastline within the North York Moors.

It will enable visitors to enjoy samples of locally-caught fish and a host of maritime-related entertainment as they venture to some of the area’s beauty spots.

The seaside resort of Saltburn, together with the villages of Staithes, Runswick Bay, Sandsend and Robin Hood’s Bay, are all joining in the day-long celebration that is being organised by Scarboroughbased arts development company, Create, on behalf of the North York Moors National Park Authority.

Local fishermen and chefs will be showing visitors how to catch and prepare freshly-caught fish such as mackerel and cod before barbecuing and serving tastings to visitors.

A plethora of restaurants and cafés will also be creating and serving a special Fish. Fillet. Feast! dish to showcase the delicious bounty that is landed along North Yorkshire’s coastline.

The fish theme continues during the family-friendly celebration with artists and photographers exhibiting a range of arts and crafts that have been inspired by the coast, and street performers and musicians adding to the entertainment.

Catriona McLees, North York Moors National Park Authority head of promotion and tourism, said: “For centuries, fishing was at the heart of community life along the coast with the fishermen venturing out in coble boats and wives making nets and gansey sweaters for their menfolk.

“Today, the sea offers an abundant array of fish from mackerel through to lobsters and brown crabs, and fishing is undergoing a renaissance here particularly as more people are seeking out locally-caught, seasonal food.

“It’s great to see so many local businesses coming together to celebrate their heritage and showcase the simple delights of eating freshly-caught and cooked fish.”

The day runs from 11am until 7pm and most of the events will be free. Timings of events will vary and there will be different activities happening in each village.