Silver Darlings (Herring) - Orkney's Golden Opportunity [Sarah De Rees]


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Silver Darlings (Herring) - Orkney's Golden Opportunity [Sarah De Rees]

  1. 1. Communities, Coasts and Mountains UHI Research and Post Graduate Conference 2010 Sarah De Rees Centre for Nordic Studies , Orkney
  2. 2. Silver Darlings Orkney’s Golden Opportunity?
  3. 3. Introduction • PhD Orkney Food Culture − Diet and health – historic perspective − Significance herring in Orkney culture: past and present • Herring part of Orkney diet for millennia • 19th and 20th Century - herring fishing industry – Silver Darlings
  4. 4. Herring and herring fishing • Staple food up to WWII – easily accessible • Early 1800s: start UK Commercial herring fishing • Scots domination international market • barrel of salt herring per household • 1970s – ban North Sea herring fishing → end curing industry UK → change food habits Orkney
  5. 5. Today •No longer staple food − Reputation unappealing − too bony to prepare • Healthy herring stocks but only minority of the catch for human consumption • Percentage to Orkney
  6. 6. Orkney Herring Company • Only cured herring producer north of Dingwall (exl. Shetland) • North Sea/Skagerrak/North Atlantic fisheries - ensure sustainable stocks • cured herring − source to table process differs from traditional salting method
  7. 7. • Oily fish - polyunsaturated fatty acids • Consumption promoted by Scottish Government • reduce risk heart attack • nervous system unborn babies • reduce risk miscarriage • other Health Benefits
  8. 8. However... • Low herring consumption in Orkney/UK • <1% herring produced in Orkney is sold locally Why?
  9. 9. Investigate • Herring consumption in historic Orkney • Cause of trend low fish consumption in Orkney • Comparison with fish consumption habits in Shetland • Food consumption habits Scotland/Western world
  10. 10. Future for herring in Orkney food culture? • Bright with right marketing and government support on national scale (Orkney Herring Company) • Orkney Herring Co. important in local economy • Return herring to staple diet?
  11. 11. Are the silver darlings (i.e herring) part of Orkney’s golden opportunity for ensuring a healthy local diet while maintaining a healthy, thriving economy?
  12. 12. Thank you Sarah De Rees 2010