Commonly called Scampi or even Dublin Bay prawn, our Langoustines are fished by a combination of large trawlers tending to operate in the more expansive offshore fisheries, together with a host of smaller vessels that are limited to operating inshore because of their size.
We have a presence in many ports in the United Kingdom, which given the vagaries of our weather, means that we can provide our customers with near uninterrupted supply. Our Langoustines are transported to our factory in Ayr, where they are carefully washed and then graded into their different sizes, packed in polystyrene boxes, and dispatched to our customers as a chilled or frozen product. We also supply hundreds of tons of shell on Langoustine tails to be processed into the breaded scampi that we have all enjoyed at one time or another.
Landed daily the King scallops are fished by specifically designed and specially equipped vessels which use dredges to disturb and rake them up. As with our Langoustine, having a presence in many ports ensures that we can maintain a consistent supply. Bags of whole Kings are transferred to the factory in Ayr where they are washed and opened by highly skilled cutters, the final part of the process is known as ‘’shucking’’ whereby the cutter runs their knife under the scallop to remove it entirely. Our King scallops are supplied as a fresh or frozen product either whole shell, half-shell or as meat.
Whilst King scallops are dredged, ‘’Queenies’’ are captured in demersal trawls, mesh nets towed form the stern of the vessel ensuring a minimum of shell damage. The processing of ‘’Queenies’’ is similar to Kings and again can be supplied as a fresh or frozen product either whole shell, half shell or as meat.
Our live langoustines are caught and landed daily, ‘’fleets’’ of creels roped together on the sea bed off the West coast of Scotland, are carefully managed and harvested, by in many cases, a single-operator fisherman. While still on the boat, the langoustines are graded by size and placed into tubes to replicate their mud flat burrows, keeping them aerated and alive in the water.
On landing, the tubed langoustines are swiftly transported to Troon to our purpose-built factory, sited directly alongside the sea and where tanks filled with continuously pumped fresh seawater await to temporarily house the catch.
They are then transferred to polystyrene boxes, to ensure and preserve the quality. Every box has a unique number that corresponds to a specific boat, to secure total traceability.
Historically, the langoustines were largely exported to France, Italy and Spain; however the better appreciation of these sweet and meaty delicacies means that not only do they now adorn the menus of many of the very best restaurants in the UK, but they have also grown to be a dinner party favourite for many a budding Gordon Ramsay.
But be watchful as to never to overcook them… that would be sacrilege.
Our facility in Shetland allows us access to one of the largest white fish auctions in Europe. Literally thousands of boxes are landed daily from seine net and single or twin rigged trawling vessels. Cod, Haddock, Monks and Ling,
Megrims and Sole, Saithe and Whiting and the list goes on. The boxes of fish are collected and stored in a refrigerated unit within the confines of the market, allowing our buyers to inspect the landings and provide an update for our customers. The fish are auctioned electronically, and then prepared for onward despatch to our many customers.