Fishing at Little Arthur

Fishing has been a part of island life since these islands were first inhabited by man. Archaeological excavations have revealed pre-historic settlements on the Eastern Isles where piles of limpet shells and fish bones can still be found. Today, a number of small fishing boats operate out of the islands, including our own Resolution and Summertime Blues. Our eldest son, Adam, has become the fisherman of the family.


Fishing provides a tenuous living. The occupation remains acknowledged as one of the most dangerous in the UK, fishermen daily facing the threats of rough seas, unpredictable weather and the problems of dealing with potentially dangerous gear under hazardous conditions. Financially, the regulations imposed to protect fishermen and fish stocks push up the expenses whilst foreign imports keep market prices impossibly low. As in farming, fishermen look increasingly to sell direct to their customers in an attempt to literally stay afloat in the modern economy.


Adam’s Fish and Chips began life at Little Arthur Café as a way of selling fish direct to customers. However, its popularity was such that Adam and his wife Fiona built new premises to accommodate the growing number of customers, both locals and holiday makers. Adams Fish and Chips has been a winner at the BBC Food and Farming awards and has appeared in programmes such as  Coast and the Hungry Fishermen series. Like Little Arthur cafe, Adams Fish and Chips uses not only the freshest of fish but also potatoes grown on our own farm to provide traditional, hand-cut chips.

Pollack is caught sustainably using long lines, immature fish being returned to the water. This type of fishing targets species, unlike large factory ships which indiscriminately scoop all from the sea - fully grown and immature fish - leaving no young stock to mature and reproduce. Unfortunately, the Government, in its wisdom, has in 2024 decided that small boats long-lining for fish have led to the depletion of stocks and have banned the practice. So, for the time being, fish has to be brought in from Cornwall. However, we hope that this will only be a temporary measure. Small-scale fishermen, like farmers, are so like the immature fish scooped up by factory ships, left floundering in a tragedy that was not of their making.


Most of our pollack is  used for fish and chips, the fish  being freshly filleted for use that evening and the unwanted frames, the head and skeleton of the fish, being used to bait the lobster pots. Crabs and lobsters are caught in pots placed around the island’s shores, again, immature lobsters being put back to breed and females with eggs also being released to produce future generations of lobster. A lobster can live to be 50 years old so it is important that fertile females are V-notched in their tails as a sign to other local fishermen that these lobsters need to be protected. Lobster is then used to provide lobster “scampi” at Adams Fish and Chips . The cafe also uses local crab and lobster for seafood lunches and bistro meals.

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Long-lining for Pollack

Fishing is carried on in under 10 metre boats and targets specific species, under-sized fish being immediately returned to the sea.

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Potting for Crabs & Lobsters

Crab and lobster has long been caught in the island seas. Immature and breeding female lobsters are always returned to the ocean.

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Freshly caught

Throughout the season, potting for crabs and lobsters takes place whenevr weather permits. Fishing, like farming, is in decline throughout the islands but we endeavour to keep these traditional skills alive.

For Adam's Fish and Chips, meals need to be booked in advance. Call Fiona on 01720 638506