Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Make note of this UK seafood item that can land you in prison

Sun 29 Jan 2023    
| 2 min read

UK: Ormers can only be gathered on days which are dubbed ormering tides, so only two days after each between January and April of the calendar year, doing it at any other time is strictly forbidden in the UK.

They first got really popular in the 19th Century, which had the unfortunate consequence of them being overfished, so now there are incredibly strict regulations on how you can get them.

All in all, this means you get only about 20 days a year where people can gather ormers, and the restrictive rules don’t stop there.

Also, read – United Kingdom town named Ghost Village after being empty for over 80 years

You can’t take any ormers which are too small, below 80mm in length if you’re in Guernsey or under 90mm if Jersey is your ormering site of choice. Also, you are not allowed to wear a wetsuit or put your head underwater while gathering the molluscs.

You can only gather up the larger ones which have washed up on the Channel Island beaches and any which end up being exported away from Jersey or Guernsey have to be granted explicit permission.

Breaking the laws around ormers can land you a hefty £5,000 (AED22,737) fine or even see you spending six months in prison if you try to illegally nab some of the delicacies for yourselves.

The police take these laws seriously too, as in 1968 the world’s first ever recorded underwater arrest was performed by Guernsey police by an officer in full diving gear.

As for what these periodically illegal delicacies taste like, that is a bit of a tricky question to answer since people who describe eating them struggle to really nail down the experience.

Ormer gatherer Peter Perrio has called them the ‘Marmite of the mollusc menu’, which pretty much means you’ll either love them or hate them. Given how there’s all sorts of Marmite-related products these days you might one day get ormer chocolate as a Christmas present.

Back in 1673 someone was a big fan of the food they called ‘much bigger than an oyster, but infinitely more pleasant to the gusto’, writing that if you always ate them you’d think you were in ‘paradise’.

More modern accounts from fans of the ormer likewise struggle to nail down exactly how they taste, with a 1981 book describing them as ‘not like fish, flesh or fowl’ and ‘like no other food on Earth’.

An account from 2011 says they have ‘a unique flavour that is not really in most people’s vocabulary to describe’, which is not helpful when trying to learn what they’re actually like to eat.

The closest they could come to a description was ‘delicious but not fishy tasting’.

Source: Agencies

UK Seafood prison term UK Seafood prison term

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *