kipperman2 Kipperhouse 1
As a seaside resort we felt we couldn’t have a food festival without reference to seafood, so we’ve brought you Kipperland – the amazing travelling kipper smokehouse and fishing exhibition. Watch fish being prepared and smoked on site and learn all there is to know about the humble herring, while enjoying a taste of traditional oak smoked kippers and bloaters. Learn about the herring’s unique place in history and its super-food qualities and explore the importance of sustainability and the impact that overfishing is having on our seas and marine life.
Kipperland is the creation of Kipperman, maritime campaigner, historian and prolific writer Mike Smylie. As a naval architect and seafarer, he’s had an interest in fishy matters for many years, He’ll be there throughout the weekend tending the smokehouse. Ask him about fishing, fisheries, and fish – and you’ll get a very knowledgeable fishy answer.

A few words from Kipperman (Mike Smylie) himself:

We’ve come a long way with Kipperland, back from the early days in 1996. Back then we were housed in a wooden shed or two that we carted around the country with great difficulty. Since then we’ve been through portable marquees and the open air but this year it’s a return to our early roots in some ways because we’ve gone back inside, this time into a Mongolian ger or yurt.

Kipperland has always been about that small tasty fish herring, its huge impact on European history and its healthy benefits that are second to none. Here visitors can learn through old photographs and text about the industry that employed a quarter of the population at times, and about the bands of herring lassies that travelled the coast gutting herring. At times demonstrations of splitting herring can be seen and this herring is subsequently smoked into kippers in the cute little Kipperhouse, the only mobile version that we know of. Herring is also packed full of Omega-3, an essential fatty acid the body needs to protect heart, eyes, brain and other vital organs. It’s a little fish with a big punch.

But as we’ve grown, so has the increasing environmental impact of overfishing, as has the concern for the general state of the oceans. But support for a healthy fishery has always been in our sights, alongside the survival of small-scale fishers and their coastal communities which are at threat from large-scale fishermen, second-home buying and the expanded bureaucracy in fishing. We’ve contributed to various forums that have culminated in lobbying the European Parliament for a change in the Common Fisheries Policy. That goal is nearly upon us . . . we hope. Come and see and tell us what you think is essential for nurturing a healthy fishing industry.