Guernsey is an island surrounded by productive fishing grounds, and we are proud to serve locally caught fish and shellfish on our menu. Most of Guernsey’s fishing fleet are small day boats such as Handy Man, skippered by Keith, who supplies much of the crab and lobster that we serve here at the Bella Luce.
Handy Man is a 24-foot long day boat typical of the fleet that works Guernsey’s inshore waters. There are 25 such boats fishing full time out of St Peter Port, putting to sea year-round (unless bad weather or unsuitable tides keep them in harbour) to supply the island’s restaurants with fresh seafood. Handy Man is a crab and lobster boat, and Keith has 140 pots laid along Guernsey’s south coast and around the back of our sister island, Herm.
On an average day Keith will collect around 20 lobster and 200 brown crabs, although he does also find the odd sea bass or conger eel that have chased a prospective meal into one of his pots! On very rare occasions he’s also found an ormer (a mollusk that is prized as a delicacy here in the Channel Islands) in amongst his catch.
The Bailiwick’s territorial waters limit is three miles offshore, and most of the fleet of day boats operates within this, although there are some boats that do fish out to the 12 nautical mile limit of the Fisheries Management Agreement. Guernsey’s fishery is incredibly sustainable and is fished responsibly, with the range of local and migratory species present, small average boat size, and the limitations often forced upon them by sea conditions meaning that no one species risks being overfished. Angling for fish means that specific species can be targeted and unwanted or juvenile fish can be returned alive, making this method the most sustainable available. Fish caught this way appear on our menu as “local line-caught”. Fish and shellfish landed by Guernsey’s local day boats such as Handy Man feature across our menu, and we’re very proud to support the fishermen who continue our island’s strong seafaring tradition.