Sole of Discretion: Wild Ethical Fishery Selling Quality Local Fish From Plymouth

Sole of Discretion is an ethical fishmonger – selling quality, local fish in Plymouth and is proudly the UK first wild fishery to be approved by SALSA, and the Soil Association.

This Community Interest Company is owned by the fishers that land to it. It buys mostly from static gill or trammel netters and hand liners fishing, usually out of Plymouth, but never from industrial trawlers or from boats over 10 metres long.

The company provides the ability for the fishers to land, process and sell their own fish, offering full traceability through the supply chain, which is a first in the UK.

By working only with small-scale boats of under 10ms in length, there is significantly less damage to the marine environment than from the large trawlers. The fishers are paid a fair price (agreed in advance), and thereby creating a market mechanism for rewarding those fishers doing the least damage to the environment.

The Founder Caroline Bennett said: ‘‘there is no doubt we extract more fish than nature can replenish. The small boats we use at Sole of Discretion have next to no discards, use less fuel per kilo of fish caught than the larger vessels, and do less damage to marine ecosystems.

The brand packs and processes during the day – usually into 300gm fillet packs, and they courier it to customers for next day delivery. This is a ‘hard to beat’ freshness, and because the company only uses static nets or hand liners, the quality is unbeatable as well.

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And sometimes if necessary, the fish can be blast-frozen. Small-scale fishers are often unable to get out in poor weather, so in order to meet customer demand and to be able to continuously supply, they sell their fish frozen when they are not able to get out to sea.

Their packs of filleted fish, usually 300g, are sold online in Farmdrop and Abel & Cole, as well as in independent farm shops, delis and wholefood stores across the UK, such as in Watson & Pratts in Wales, in Pinewood Nurseries in Buckinghamshire, and in Organic Earth in Brighton. 

Sole of Discretion was launched in May 2016, and prior to launching the business, Caroline Bennett opened Britain’s first conveyor belt sushi bar, Moshi Moshi, back in 1994, and had worked in Tokyo and London in the finance sector.

Sole of Discretion used to sell 250 packs per week, but now they roll out over 10 times that number per week.

You can find out more about Soles of Discretion here.