Bespoke fish filleting courses in Northern Ireland a huge success

07 March 2016

For the first time in many years, manual fish filleting courses have been delivered in Northern Ireland. Sea Source in Kilkeel have trained 16 staff in the art of fish filleting through a series of 2-day courses arranged by the Seafood Training Network Northern Ireland in partnership with Seafish, Sea Source and Fisheries Consultant, Hal Dawson.

NI filleting course
The courses taught participants knife safety skills as well as basic filleting techniques for a range of species including mackerel, plaice, haddock, cod, hake and brill. With classrooms sessions along with plenty of hands-on practice, course participants, some of whom had never held a filleting knife before, were soon creating side fillets and butterfly fillets worthy of a place in the window of a fishmongers shop, under the expert supervision of Hal. 

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With the average age of manual fish filleters on the island of Ireland thought to be approximately 55 years old, these courses were much needed and participants greatly enjoyed taking part.

Steven Pryce Factory Manager at Sea Source commented "Our staff have been enthused by these courses- they appreciate our company investing in training and they have seen the top quality product that can be achieved by manually filleting fish. The courses have been widely discussed around the harbour and we are hoping it will encourage further onshore training and perhaps even create some new business opportunities for Sea Source".

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Alan McCulla OBE, CEO of Sea Source commented "a recent uplift in the haddock quota and successful pelagic fisheries around the coast have created renewed interest in filleting prime fish in Kilkeel. Sea Source are leading the way in developing staff training to include fish filleting skills and provide the local and export markets with the best product possible."

Dr Lynn Gilmore of Seafish Northern Ireland welcomed these courses and said "it is fantastic to see local companies taking the lead in staff training and Seafish, through the Seafood Training Network Northern Ireland are delighted to have supported this initiative."

If you are interested in a manual fish filleting course, this can be arranged through the Sea Fish Industry Training Association (SFITA) or Sea Source. Please contact Juanita Emerson of SFITA on 02842771556/ or Lynda Annett of Sea Source on 02841762855/ for further information, availability and costs.