Also known as Prawns, Dublin Bay Prawn and Norway Lobster, Langoustine are our main target catch from Easter-October. We fish for them using creels (pots) that are placed on the sea floor. Prawns live on muddy ground in depths of 30-100m in our local waters. The prawns can be boiled, steamed or barbecued, with the tail providing most of the meat. The claw meat, although fiddly to extract, yields an even sweeter flesh.
Brown Crab are the main target species of the rest of the local fishing fleet. You will often see boxes of them being landed on Fionnphort pier, destined to fill tins of crab meat or for the export market in France and Spain. Iona Seafood’s crab do not have to travel so far! We catch our crab using creels that are bigger and heavier than the prawn pots, and that are laid in shallower, rocky/sandy ground.
Male and female crabs give different levels of meat. Male (cock) crabs tend to have bigger claws, whilst the female (hen) crabs yield more meat from the body.
Pulling up a creel with a lobster in it is still an exciting sight. The majority that crawl into our creels are duly returned, as they are too small or are pregnant females. The ones that are retained are in high demand, and understandably so, as they are easy to cook and yield delicious meat from the tail and claws.
Known locally as Lythe, Pollock (shown here under some Mackerel) are the largest fish regularly caught by Iona Seafood, with good specimens reaching 6+ lb (2.7kg). We catch them using dive-boards, and the fish are killed, bled and chilled as soon as they are brought aboard, this preserves the flesh, especially important in white fish. The flesh of Pollock is similar to Cod, and can be baked, fried, or battered for delicious fish and chips! It also freezes well.
Saithe (also known as Coley/Coalfish) are the most common edible fish in our local waters. They are a member of the Cod family, and are known as Coalfish due to the darkish shade their flesh often has. Despite this, Saithe are a tasty fish when cooked well, and are an excellent budget option for those looking to experience local seafood.
Shoals of mackerel usually arrive in the area in the summer, with numbers peaking in late July, early August. We use dive-boards and hand-lines to catch our mackerel, which allows smaller fish to be returned alive. The larger specimens are killed immediately after they are caught, and stored in a cooler until they are brought ashore. Mackerel are a very versatile fish, they can be baked, grilled, barbecued or even eaten raw as Japanese style sashimi.
This is another mainstay of the other boats in the local fishing fleet, and our target species during the winter months. Most velvet crabs are exported to France or Spain. These feisty creatures have flat legs that enable them to swim through the water. It can be a fiddle to extract, but the reward is a sweeter meat than Brown Crab.
Fancy something completely different?
We occasionally catch the species below, mainly as bycatch in the creels. All are normally returned but if you would like to give them a try, get in touch!
The skin is tough to remove, but there are no bones to worry about!
We actually catch a lot of Whiting in the Prawn creels, but most are too small to be eaten and are returned. Occasionally, especially towards the end of the summer, we get larger specimens.
A challenge to open, but there is meat inside worth eating!
Takes a while to prepare and cook, but the result is worth it!
Another big export to the Continent, but available on request here too.