New figures have revealed Cornwall is home to more seafood restaurants than anywhere else in the country outside of London. 

According to an independent research report titled the True Value of Seafood to Cornwall, 16% of Cornwall’s table-service restaurants, not including fish and chip shops, specialise in seafood, which is the highest concentration in the UK outside the capital. 

The report was commissioned by the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation to determine the true value of seafood to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 

Overall, the sector contributes £174 million to the county’s total gross value added. 

Chris Ranford, CEO of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation, said: “The results of this report are outstanding. We always knew the importance of fishing to Cornwall, but this provides the socio-economic evidence to back it up, inform decision-making and attract strategic investment into the industry. 

“The symbiotic relationship between fishing, hospitality and tourism is completely unique to Cornwall. It’s something we can all be proud of and make sure we’re protecting and enhancing for future generations.” 

Around 8,000 people in Cornwall work in seafood, according to the report, which means for every Cornish fisherman at sea there are 15 more jobs on shore – five of those are also linked to tourism. 

Malcolm Bell, Visit Cornwall, said: “Seafood is a key part of the Cornish brand. 

“When you think of Cornwall, you think of the food as much as the destination. 

“Holidaying in Cornwall and eating Cornish seafood are one and the same so it’s vital we protect the fishing and seafood industry; without them Cornwall’s tourism economy wouldn’t perform as well.” 

Restaurants and cafes rely on Cornish seafood and its provenance, combined with the fishing industry, it establishes Cornwall as the UK hotspot for seafood. 

Ben Tunnicliffe, the head chef at The Tolcarne Inn said: “Without fishing I wouldn’t have a business. Cornish fish has a lovely reputation around the country and abroad but we’re lucky, being able to use it direct as it comes off the boat and that’s what the visitors coming to Cornwall expect to see.” 

“Fishing, along with tourism and hospitality, is one of the few industries we have left in Cornwall, and it brings a lot of financial benefits to the county so it’s of paramount importance we work together to strengthen and protect its bright future.” 

The research was commissioned by the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation following the publication of their Cornish Fishing Strategy in 2021. 

Its aim was to refocus the strategic vision for the Cornish seafood industry post Brexit. 

Four key areas of action were highlighted, which include science and sustainability, ports infrastructure, recruitment and retention and communications and marketing. 

It is expected the findings from the ‘Value of Seafood to Cornwall’ research will better inform regional and national decision-making and help drive strategic investment into Cornwall’s seafood sector.