Orkney’s Seafood

The cool, clear waters of Orkney are teaming with life and Orcadians enjoy a diverse selection of seafood which is also prized in restaurants around the world.

So let’s look at what is available;

Brown Trout

Brown Trout

Apart from the popular haddock, cod and herring you will find other fish, equally as tasty.  here is a selection, but if you feel there is more to add, then just let us know.

Wolf fish – A large fish found offshore in the Atlantic and North Sea. It gets it’s name from the large front teeth.  Flesh of the wolf fish is delicate and white with a fine taste that makes it a great companion with chips.  This fish has seen a huge surge in popularity since the “Big Fish Fight” campaign.

Megrim – A flat fish from the brill and turbot family. It does not however, have their flavour and although it can be cooked just like sole or plaice, it is considered better for use in fish cakes and mixed fish dishes.

Witch – A flat, white fleshed sea fish.  Cooking is similar to sole but witch lacks the flavour and is best used in fish cakes and other dishes rather than alone.
Witch can be grilled, fried, poached or cook whole.

Lobster – The tasty European lobsters fished from the Orkney waters are in great demand all over the world. The Orkney Lobster Hatchery now releases over 100,000 juveniles each year to create a sustainable industry.

Brown Trout – Found in Orkney’s lochs, brown trout are a medium sized fish favoured by fly fishermen.  Freshwater brown trout range in colour from largely silver with only a few spots and a white belly, to the more well known brassy brown, fading to creamy white on the fish’s belly, with medium-sized spots surrounded by lighter haloes. The more silver forms can be mistaken for rainbow trout.
The Brown Trout Season is from the 15th of March until the 6th of October.

Sea Trout – The sea trout is a migratory form of the brown trout. This is a muscular, rounded fish, with silvery colour and a variable amount of dark blotches on the upper body.
Sea trout tend to remain close to the coast, particularly favouring estuaries, or other areas where fresh water enters the sea.
The Sea Trout Season is from the 25th. February until 31st. October

Salmon – The salmon industry in Orkney is worth about £6 million pounds anually and salmon from the region is highly sought after.
The Orkney Salmon Company is a group of salmon farmers who continue to grow organic salmon in a more traditional style, using low intensity methods to produce a firmly-textured and subtly flavoured fish.

Mussels – Hand picked, rope grown mussels grow slowly in Orkney waters, ensuring a great depth of flavour.  Mussels, likeother seafood on Orkney can often be found smoked.

Scallops – By far one of the best seafoods to come form Orkney’s seas.  Hand picked or line caught, this high quality delicacy is always a favourite.

Spoots – Razor fish or razor clams are known locally as “spoots”, they lie in sandy beds below the tideline.  When the sea goes out far enough, Orcadians can be seen walking backwards along the shore, knife and bucket in hand.  Ideal fried, razor clams are best eaten almost raw.

Crab – Crab meat doesn’t get much better than this.  Orkney crab benefits from the warm, nutrient rich waters of the Gulf Stream.  This makes it larger than the commonly fished Cromer crab and is much sought after.

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