Fish and chips are a seaside staple. It’s hard to imagine a day trip to the Sussex coast without a big portion of crispy cod and a heaping of golden chips for lunch. But the price of cod is set to skyrocket as a strike by fishermen in Iceland is threatening the UK supply of fresh cod.
The majority of cod sold by fish and chip shops in the UK comes from the artic waters of Iceland and the Barents sea, according to Seafish, so this is no laughing matter.
In Grimsby, the largest British importer of fresh fish, stock levels at the fish market have halved. The amount of fish coming in to the market has been described as ‘the least supply ever’. Six of the fish market’s 32 employees have had to be let go.
Martyn Boyers, chief executive of the group that operates Grimsby fish market, said: “Iceland is one of the main suppliers of fish into the UK.
“It has hit our business particularly badly because we do rely on Icelandic fish.
“In due course there will be a knock-on effect as there will be less fish available and if the demand stays the same then generally the price will go up.”
Icelandic trawlermen have called the strike to demand a larger share of the profits from their catch. Mr Boyers said the Icelandic government and the fishermen must come end their dispute swiftly before a price increase hits UK chippies.