Thursday 15 July 2010
Richard Cook - Severn and Wye Smokery
My boy hood memories of the spring of the year revolve around the arrival of the Elvers (Eel fry or Glass eels). There was always a huge air of expectation and excitement at this time of year amongst all the locals along the banks of the River Severn and River Wye. This mysterious fish which makes the journey from The Sargasso Sea to our British waters now attracts a far wider audience these days. I acknowledge all the press that these fish have attracted over the past few years; although I do not agree with all that is written. I do however feel very privileged to have had a life time of fishing and restocking this very secretive fish. Its now time that we all start to think of the impact we are all having on what is one of Europe’s most valuable fishery resources, the Eel. Severn & Wye Smokery has decided to organise an active educational and restocking programme.
We have launched a pilot scheme, to put an Eel tank in our local primary school, Highnam C of E Primary School. The school children looked after and feed the Glass Eels for a period of about 10 to 12 weeks. During this period they learnt about the fishery, the environment and the significance of our actions on both. Then on July 15th we had a highly published release day where Brian Turner and the school children returned the fish to the lakes at Highnam Court as a restocking project. This project proved to be such a success that we have already discussed to role it out to a further 20 local schools next season.
Apart from our enthusiasm and passion for the eel the other key ingredient to the on going success of the above projects is money. It is Severn & Wye Smokery’s intention to engage it’s customers with the above, by the way of contributing 3 live elvers to the Tanks in Schools scheme every time a Severn & Wye Smokery product is eaten.