Did you know that Portsmouth has its very own fish market with one of the finest selections of seafood on the South Coast? A few weeks ago they completed a major refurb, so I decided to pop down and check it out!
Fish Portsmouth is located at The Camber in Old Portsmouth. This Portsmouth fish market is one of three seafood shops along the South Coast owned by West Sussex-based company Brighton & Newhaven Fish Sales.
The first thing that struck me is the transformation of the exterior. The previously uninspiring shed-like structure has been replaced by a smart modern building with lots of glass.
The inside is even more impressive. There’s now loads of space and it’s really well laid out. My eyes were immediately drawn to the middle where there’s a mindboggling selection of fresh fish and shellfish – all set out on ice, in big colourful displays.
Among the produce I spotted were locally caught cod and wild sea bass; lots of juicy-looking traditional fish like salmon and haddock; and an amazing shellfish selection from live clams and mussels to crab and prawns of different types. There was even a tank full of live lobsters casting a watchful eye over me!
Supporting the Local Fishing Industry
I had a lovely chat with the friendly manager. They explained that Fish Portsmouth works with local fisherman who go out from The Camber in approximately 15 boats round-the-clock. Most are small boats which land their fish within hours of capture, so everything is super-fresh.
I learned that some of the fish caught in our waters include plaice, Dover sole, brill, and turbot. This year’s scallop season has been especially fruitful, and cuttlefish also breed around our shores.
There were some intriguingly unfamiliar creatures on display too – such as spiky-looking sea urchins and colourful blue crab, and several exotic fish from overseas.
If, like me, you don’t know an awful lot about buying and preparing fresh seafood – don’t worry! The team are super-friendly and happy to give recommendations and answer any questions.
New Deli and More
A highlight of the refurb is the new deli counter. Here you can buy takeaway items including a selection of filled rolls, oysters and fish balls. I particularly liked the sound of the crab and prawn roll (£6.50). Next spring, the shop will also open a serving hatch so that you can order from the street and tuck into your purchase in the sunshine outdoors.
In addition to the amazing selection of fresh produce, there’s now a much bigger freezer section with everything from whole octopus to packs of fishcakes and jumbo fish fingers.
On the shelves, there are also lots of handy items that will help make cooking easier like sauces, rice and stock for making paella, and soups.
What We’ve Tried Recently
Items we’ve bought here recently include red snapper, salmon fillets and fish gumbo. All were delicious, and we felt they provided value for money when you consider the quality and freshness that you’re getting.
I figure that two large red snapper cost around the same as a couple of decent steaks from the supermarket, while many frozen items feel competitively priced – such as four luxury fishcakes for £6 or two large breaded haddock for £5.
I reckon we’re lucky to have this Portsmouth fish market on our doorstep. It’s fun to visit and the range of fish and shellfish is incredible. I also love that by shopping here I’m supporting our local fishermen.
Whether you’re looking for something traditional or want to try something exotic, you’re guaranteed to find something you’ll like – and the staff are friendly and helpful if you need any advice.
The new deli takeaway is a great addition too – and I imagine when the sunshine returns in the spring it’s going to be a big hit!
Fish Portsmouth is open Monday to Saturday 8am to 5pm, and on Sundays from 10am to 4pm. You can find it at The Camber Docks, White Hart Rd, Old Portsmouth PO1 2JX.
Did you know?
I was interested to learn that The Camber is Portsmouth’s oldest commercial dock. It has been landing goods since the late 1100s, when a wealthy shipowner decided its sheltered harbour was the ideal base for trading with Normandy!