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Sussex fishing stocks back to normal after storms
Sussex's fishing industry is finally returning to normal after the recent storms grounded fishing boats for days at a time and pushed prices up.
One retailer described how the window displays in his two fish shops were half empty for two weeks as some of the worst storms to hit Britain in 20 years battered its coasts earlier this month.
Another estimated that fishermen were able to launch only once or twice a week compared with a normal six or seven times.
Stocks became depleted as the storms hit over a period of about three weeks during Christmas and in early January.
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Sebastian Candelon, the owner of The Fresh Fish Shop, which has branches in Haywards Heath and West Grinstead, said business had never been so bad in the seven years he has been in the industry.
He said: “We've had bad weather before in January but the difference this time is that the storms were so widespread.
“Normally, if there’s bad weather in one area, you can source fish from somewhere else, but this time it was different. The storms hit right across the UK and beyond, so no one had any fish.”
Tthe prices of some favourites doubled, including skate, lemon sole and monkfish.
However Matt Leach, director of Shoreham-based fish retailer and wholesaler Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales, described the surge in prices as artificial and temporary. He said: “The shortage of fish raised prices artificially because at the end of the day, this is a supply and demand business.
“But they've come down with a bump this week because the weather has settled down.”
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