Southern Head Fisheries: Part I by Emma Davidson

July 2, 2021

On a sunny-ish day in June, we set off for our favourite Eastbourne beach, which is amazing in more ways than one. The water is clear, there’s lots of plant life on the beach, and perhaps best of all, our favourite wet fish shop ever, Southern Fishing Co, is right there on the beach and there is so much variety!

They sell whiting, sea bass, flat fish, gurnard, salmon, all types of shellfish, prawns and many more. The staff are friendly, the display is wonderful, and whenever I’ve been in, they’ve had tanks at the back with live lobsters and crabs. Round the back of the shop there are stacks of lobster and crab pots, and boats which are undoubtedly used to catch the fish which are sold in the shop. The shop itself is actually just a roof and two sides, leaving it open ended, a feature you don’t often see nowadays.
























On this occasion, we bought a dressed crab, prawns and a simply enormous salmon for the Swedish national day. We had the two predecessors on bread for lunch the next day, and enjoyed half the 4-kilo salmon for dinner with Hasselback potatoes.

That evening, we made gravadlax and jerky from the other half of the fish, which both tasted delicious when they were fully marinaded a week later, although they were very different, with contrasting recipe techniques.  I found the gravadlax a bit too grown up, and left that to my parents. I enjoyed the jerky more, though it was quite salty!

Finally, we made stock with the bones, head and tail. From the stock we concocted a delicious fish paella, which was so popular the entire pan-full was gone in one evening. I enjoyed it the most out of all the fish based meals.

By Sylvie, age 11


How to make Fish Paella

You will need:

  • 2 red onions
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 300g frozen prawns
  • 100g chorizo
  • 454g paella rice
  • 1 litre fish stock
  • 200g frozen peas
  • Pinch turmeric
  • 3 white fish fillets (bass, monkfish and bream all work well)
  • Lemon wedges, to serve


  • Slice the chorizo and fry it in a large pan in olive oil. This should result in red oil.
  • Finely dice the celery, onion, garlic and carrot and add it to the chorizo pan.
  • Add the rice and slowly slop in the stock, a little at a time, until half is gone.
  • Put the prawns, fish and peas in the pan, adding the rest of the stock in the same way.
  • When the fish is cooked, break it up into bite-sized pieces, then add the turmeric.
  • Cook until most of the stock has been absorbed by the rice. The grains should be plump and a nice yellow-orange colour.
  • Serve with the lemon wedges.

TIP: This a pretty laid-back recipe and you can swap in different types of seafood, or add whatever you’ve got in the fridge, e.g., chicken.