Who’s who: Meet the fisherman flogging fresh produce at Stroud Green Market
- Credit: Archant
A fisherman braves tumultuous waves off the coast of Sussex every week so he bring back sacks full of gleaming-scaled fish for Islington market-goers to buy of a Sunday.
Martin Yorwarth, 46, scours the Channel in his small fishing boat at all times of night and day so he can bag squid, lemon sole, monk fish, whitings and more to sell on ice from his pop-up stall.
Martin, of Newhaven, started trading at Chapel Market in November and he’s made waves since joining the Stroud Green Market, in Perth Road, earlier this month.
“It’s nice to realise how the work you do is really valued,” said Martin. “You don’t really get that on the coast.
“I’m really grateful to the people in the borough and it’s nice to be building up a rapport with the customers – they are appreciating the quality [of the produce].
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“There is a good demand for really fresh fish in Islington.”
Martin, who has been a fisherman his whole working life, hopes to be at the markets most Sundays – but it depends on the weather and the catch, as some weeks he can’t get enough to sell. He says there’s a scarcity of cod this year.
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“But we caught a great bag of monkfish about two weeks ago and we regularly catch eels,” he said.
Stroud Green Market’s Edmond May told the Gazette: “Martin knows about his fish, his fishing, and the life and work that goes into providing such wonderful food for people.
“His passion and enthusiasm for what is such a tough occupation is inspiring, and people sense and engage with that in some way whenever they buy fish from him.
“Selling directly to customers isn’t for everyone but it is a model that has huge advantages and I strongly believe that it should be encouraged.
“If we can offer Martin a busy marketplace he’ll get a much better price for his fish than he would selling at the auctions, and what’s profitable to him is also a benefit to a community of people who value the quality, price and expertise that they find at his stall.”
“I don’t think you’d get fish as fresh as this even in the best fishmonger’s on a Friday morning, and out of all the fish stalls at the various good food markets around London, Yorwarth’s is one of only three or four who will actually have caught it themselves the night before.”