The Seafish National Fish and Chip Awards is fast approaching, and we’ve once again been selected as finalists. As part of the selection process, Bonny was asked to join the fishermen and women of Norway, where she was expected to help out on board. So, on the 21st October, Bonny packed up her winter warmers and journeyed to Ålesund, Norway.
Ålesund is a picturesque shipping town in the Møre og Romsdal county, and has one of the most vital fishing harbours in Norway. With multicoloured houses lining the shore, and a fascinating local culture to boot, this town is not only a great place to fish, but a fantastic holiday destination.
After Bonny returned from her adventure, we sat down with a cup of tea to discuss her journey, and what she felt she’d learnt from this amazing experience. Here’s what she had to say.
So Bonny, why was this trip so important for you and Simpsons?
It was just an honour to have been selected [as a finalist], but it’s also something everyone else in the family has done. James and my mum have both been to Norway to experience the study trip, so it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
What was the boat you were on like?
The boat, Frøyanes, was huge, and there were so many different levels. At the base of the boat there was an entire processing factory where they skin, debone and fillet the fish. There was also a freezer section, where they packaged and prepared the fish ready for market.
What types of fish did you catch?
We caught cod and haddock. In fact, we caught the biggest cod I’ve ever seen, it was brilliant!
Was there anything that surprised you during your trip?
Urgh, how sea sick we all were! I definitely recommend taking sea sickness tablets for anyone who is considering a trip on a fishing vessel.
What was the highlight of the trip and why?
For me, it was just really good to see how the fish are caught. It was really exciting to be a part of the action, especially when we reeled in the bigger fish.
Did you get a chance to explore Norway?
Unfortunately, I didn’t see much of Norway. When I first arrived it was 11pm, and the following day I was on board between 8am and 4:30pm, so it was pretty non-stop. What we could see from the vessel was beautiful, so picturesque.
That night we were treated to a delicious meal at the fantastic restaurant, Klippfiskakademiet (Klippfisk Academy). The restaurant’s incredible chef cooked up
some amazing Norwegian food. He also runs the onsite Seafood Academy, which aims to provide young and amateur chefs with the skills to cook great fish dishes.
What do you think the experience has taught you?
Mainly, it has taught me to appreciate how hard the men and women on board the vessels work. I didn’t think it could, but the respect I have for the entire fishing process has increased dramatically. And, in turn, the respect the Norwegian hosts showed us as small business owners was very rewarding.
Phew! Well done Bonny, and welcome back.
Bonny had a great time (well, apart from the sea sickness) and we all couldn’t be happier that Simpsons has reached the finals (once again) of the Seafish National Fish and Chip Awards. To find out more about our recent accolades and nominations, check out our latest blog.