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Facts about herring, cod, saithe and plaice

Freshly caught fish in Travemünde’s fishermen's harbour

It doesn’t get any fresher – fish straight from the boat

There’s plenty happening in the fishermen's harbour in Travemünde every morning. The earlier, the better. That’s when the fishing cutters return with their catch from the Baltic Sea – usually accompanied by a swarm of crying, hungry seagulls. These fishermen who depend on fishing for their living chug out into Lübeck Bay in their cutters before sunrise almost every morning, hoping for a good catch in their nets. Their “bread-and-butter fish”, i.e. the fish which provide their living throughout the year, are cod, plaice and herring. For some years now, saithe have also been getting lost in Lübeck Bay. Several hours later – usually around 8 in the morning – they return to their berths in the fishermen's harbour, and you can buy their freshly caught fish direct from the boat out of colourful fish boxes on board or at the sales stalls on land. It couldn't be fresher!

Eating fish sustainably: authentic, regional and freshly caught

Whether herring, cod, saithe or plaice – fish from the cutter is local, seasonal, fairly caught and traded, sustainable and high quality. The fisherman in front of you names his price and if you like, you can even choose your favourite fish.The fish is gutted and if you want even filleted right there and then so you only have to pop it in the frying pan that same evening. Bon appetit!

The supply of fish always depends of course on the wind and weather and on the time of year. Sometimes the nets come back empty, it’s unpredictable. The fishermen have to take account of fish bans and closed seasons in order to preserve stocks.

Fish facts

Herring are also called the “silver of the sea” due to their sparkling colour. You know them as Bismarck herring, fried herring, salted herring, as rollmops, kippers and preserved in tomato sauce. Fresh off the boat, they taste best with lemon, tossed in flour and fried in a pan with butter. Delicious!

Cod is an ocean predator and today it’s one of the most popular edible fish. The tender meat tastes good when fried, boiled or steamed. When dried, it is also known as stockfish.

Fisher Freitag

You have to be born to be a fisherman.

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Plaice have light to dark-red spots on the top side of their body. Their meat is as white as snow and soft. In the far north where we live, we like to fry them and prepare them with bacon and shrimps. May plaice are particularly popular as they are still young and a little smaller than a fully grown plaice.

Saithe are predators and they are part of the cod family. Their firm meat has a strong, spicy taste and is well suited for use in fish cakes or fish fried in crispy batter. Saithe fillets are excellent when baked in the oven, best of all on a bed of vegetables or potatoes. And they can also be very nicely grilled because the meat is so nice and firm.

Why are plaice flat?

If you would like to know more about domestic sea creatures, pay a visit to the Ostseestation Travemünde on Priwall. It is a cross between a Baltic Sea aquarium and maritime museum. You’re allowed not just to look but also to touch and feed the fish and of course ask as many questions as you like. The Ostseestation is located on the new Priwall promenade on the Priwall peninsula, right by the Passat harbour.

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