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Smoking beats snow for Seychelles seafood team

LEARNING how to kiln smoke fish in the UK seafood capital proved a draw for international visitors from the Seychelles as they seek to enhance the wider seafood industry on the East African islands.

Smoking beats snow for Seychelles seafood team

And while the training proved extremely useful, so did the timing, as they got to see snow for the first time in their lives.

Used to temperatures between 20 and 31 deg C, the recent flurry saw another new experience enjoyed, as Rona Arrisol and Ronny Antat of the Seychelles Fishing Authority, spent the week at Grimsby Seafood Village’s training academy.

Having seen enough of the white stuff after a few hours, admitting to a “hard time adapting,” it was the kiln creations that held the interest, having researched online to find an accredited facility.

Rona, quality control officer, said: “This is mostly for us to learn the technique of fish smoking. What we do is provide capacity building for investors back in the Seychelles. We came to learn to hot smoke fish so we can pass on the technique to them.

“It has shed some more light on what we know, because until now I only knew about liquid cold smoking. Hot smoking is not something familiar, and now – for us – I can see some advantages.

“It is very interesting, I really liked it, and I just wished I could have brought in our own fish. We will have to experiment on our return. We have done well with mackerel, so I am thinking we can cook the same with other fatty fish."

Ronny and Eyd at one of the kilns.

Trevally – seen eating birds in Seychelles waters on the BBC’s Blue Planet II – is one which may well be introduced. The duo from the capital Victoria, on the island of Mahé, have an academy of their own, should it be embraced in a big way.

Ronny, development and assessment manager, said: “We are part of the value addition section of the organisation and right now there are quite a few businesses coming to us to us asking about fish smoking. There was a need for this capacity building in our own organisation to make sure people coming to us can be advised.

“It has been brilliant training as before this we only had theoretical knowledge. Coming here and actually getting involved in actually smoking our own fish has been very good.”

Joining the course was Eyd Smedemark, from Faroese company Vaðhorn Seafood, who was far more used to snow than her “class mates” who made the 5,000 mile journey.

Ivan Jaines-White, commercial manager at Grimsby Seafood Village, said: “I am delighted to see our visitors from the Seychelles here. They are already recognising the opportunities, and I am very, very pleased to see them.”

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