October 1, 2023

A piece of seafood could put you in jail in Guernsey

A piece of seafood could put you in jail in Guernsey

Seafood has long been considered a delicacy in many cultures. These are basically all edible marine animals and are not vertebrates. There are also countless specimens in European waters. Around the island of Guernsey in particular, there is a certain marine animal that can only be caught at a strictly defined time. In the worst case scenario, anyone who fails to do so faces imprisonment.

The island of Guernsey is located off the northern coast of France. This is the second largest British Channel Island after Jersey and has the status of a dependency on the Crown in the United Kingdom. It reports directly to the British Crown and is not part of the United Kingdom. Strange as the case, as well as the seafood you can buy Guernsey Finds: The green abalone, also known as the “(green) Ormer” in English. There are very strict rules for catching rare seafood – and those who don’t comply can end up in jail.

Abalone is a marine animal belonging to the snail family. The animal is about ten centimeters long and six centimeters wide. The peel is usually green – hence the name. Meat is a delicacy in Guernsey and the Channel Islands in general. But one does not always have to collect the “Ormer”.

The moon decides when you can assemble

Due to overexploitation, the number of sought-after marine animals has decreased dramatically in the past 200 years. Therefore, they can only be collected between January 1 and April 30 and if the abalone is at least three inches long. Animals take three years to reach this size.

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The phases of the moon from January to April are also crucial so you don’t go to prison for collecting seafood. Because according to a report byBBCCollect only at full moon, new moon and up to a maximum of two days after the respective moon phases. The reason: These days, the moon has the greatest influence on the tidentub, that is, how far the tides are over the water level.

In addition to observing the phases of the moon, there are other rules to follow: you should not be in the water in whole or in part during this time. In addition, you must record the abalone you collected when leaving the country. If you break one of these laws, you will face a fine of about 5,000 pounds (about 6,000 euros) or up to six months in prison.

This is what a green abalone looks like from the insidePhoto: Getty Images

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How to collect green abalone

There are two basic ways to collect abalone. These are called “wrap” and “rumen”. When turning, you are looking for a spot on a rock that is not connected to the sea floor. Collectors can carefully search these areas and observe seafood. On the other hand, when “screaming”, you search for animals on rocks in crevices and hiding places. This is not easy, abalone lives hiding in small crevices, but experienced collectors know where to look more often.

First of all with the help of the “ormer hook” one tries to get the abalone. However, some prefer to use scraper or blade-like tools. Collecting and eating abalone has a long tradition in the British Channel Islands, and Guernsey in particular.

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How do you actually eat seafood?

The taste of the delicacy should be unique. Atlas of taste He writes that the pulp is very juicy, light, and slightly resembles meat. However, it still has a distinct note of mollusks. It is also said that you should cook the urmer too slowly or too quickly, otherwise the seafood will not taste good. Traditionally, abalone is either fried or cooked in sauce.

If you get a taste of it, you can try the tradition of collecting and eating abalone in Guernsey next year. However, to avoid going to jail for eating seafood, it is important to follow the above rules.

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