The ultimate guide to seasonal fish

 

Just as fruit and vegetables have an optimum time to be eaten, so too do Britain’s native fish.
Rachel Walker explains what we should be serving when fish and seafood are at their best

BLACK BREAM
June-March
Black bream will soon be starting to arrive in shops. Eat instead of bass as stocks are too low

BRILL
January-January
Available year round, a staple flat fish that replenishes well

COD
May-October
Once overfished, North Sea cod is back after being taken off the “red list” in late 2015

COLEY
April-December
Increasingly popular alternative to cod

CRAB
April-September
As the waters warm up, crabs and lobsters come closer to the coast to feed

DAB
June-February
Seine-netted dab from the North Sea are top of the latest MCS Good Fish Guide

DOVER SOLE
June-February
In “roe” now, back on the menu in a month

HADDOCK
May-February
Back in its prime since spawning

HERRING
May-August (Scotland), October-December (England)
A commercial fish that once supported whole communities

HAKE
June-January
Popular in Spain, but UK stocks of this sustainable fish are booming, making
it a great choice — see the Eat More Hake campaign

LOBSTER
October-June
Ask for pot-caught and avoid females with eggs

MACKEREL
June-January
Arrives in British waters by early summer. Look for handlined mackerel from the
southwest or MSC-certified northeast Atlantic mackerel

MUSSELS
September-February
Rope-grown, farmed mussels are available year round, but it’s best to avoid
wild mussels over the summer

PLAICE
May-December
In the southwest, there is a saying: “Never eat plaice until it’s tasted May waters”

POLLACK
May-December
Look for handlined pollack, an alternative to cod, from the Celtic Sea

SALMON
Year round
Avoid wild salmon (netted June to August) and opt for farmed salmon from
ethically accredited sources

SARDINES
Late August-March
Wait until late summer for sardines, or (adult) pilchards

TROUT
April-October
Both sea trout and brown trout are in season

TURBOT
May-August
Swimming close to shore for a short but abundant season