Rosslare Crab Meat is based in Rosslare Harbour.
James Walsh and his wife Veronica own Rosslare Crab Meat. James was made redundant from his last job so he decided to buy a boat, fishing was always a long life hobby of his. 'I have been fishing all of my life. I used to fish and sell mussels in Wexford when I was 7.' James saw a gap in the market so he decided that he would set up his own business; Rosslare Crab Meat, combining his love for fishing and a new career. Rosslare Crab Meat has been in business since 2013.
‘We do 12 hour days, it’s not hard work because we love what we do. It’s just myself and Veronica working here.’It must be nice to work together?They Both laugh!!
James fishes on his own on the boat. ‘I fish about a mile away from Tuskar Rock’I go out everyday all year round, weather permitting! I try go every morning but if the weather isn’t good I will wait for the afternoon. You could go out at 6am and come back in about 2 or 3pm. It depends on whether the water has risen or not. If I can’t get out to sea I will buy the crab claws from the local fishermen, and when I do get out to sea I sell the brown crab bodies to the fishermen. It’s a great local community and we all work as a team.
How many crabs do you catch?
Everyday I go out and I ask myself the same question! It totally depends. October is the month for the crab so you could be picking up double this month.
Why is October a good month for the brown crab?
It is good for crabs because the water is getting colder so they come closer to land, they’re not big fans of the cold! It’s bad for us because conditions aren’t great weather wise.
Tell us about the velvet crabs?
You will always find velvet crabs, there is never a shortage of them. There known as the ‘devil crab’ you will feel there pinch when you catch them!! They are exported to Spain and Italy.
When is a good time to fish Lobster?
June and July are the best months for lobsters but you can always find them. There is a lot of people that come to Rosslare for the summer, we find summer is a very busy time for it but we have a lot of orders in now for lobster. It’s always wanted.
So you catch the crab, what do you then?
We catch them, bring them back to land and claw them. If the crab is under 135 ml the claw isn’t good enough! As soon as the crab comes in we put them in to boil and then put them straight in to the fridge at 2 - 5 degrees. 5 pm is the perfect time to do this because it gives perfect boiling and cooling time before it’s delivered to Ferrycarrig Hotel the next morning. 'We keep the meat in the air tight boxes, this prevents the meat from drying out. In every crab claw pack you get 12 claws, 6 left and 6 right. The presentation is very important. What makes us different is we compress our crab in packages we don’t vacuum pack it. I find if you vacuum pack the meat it draws the taste out.'
Do you think crab is becoming more popular?
Yes! People are a lot more health conscious these days. Crab meat is one of the healthiest meats to eat. There is no added additives or preservatives it’s a clean fresh meat. We find ourselves becoming busier every year.
'It’s great that Wexford locals buy local products. it’s the best way to keep money in our local'communities.
'I have a great relationship with Tony Carty (Head Chef Ferrycarrig Hotel) Tony is great for supporting local food suppliers in Wexford.'
I walked in to the kitchen in Ferrycarrig Hotel and the chef said ‘We’ve a big problem!’ I got a fright I thought there was something wrong with the product. He said ‘The big problem is your product is too good! We have never sold so much crab before.’ It was a fantastic compliment to get from chefs that are so experienced and well respected in the food industry.
"Here in Ferrycarrig Hotel and Reeds Restaurant we are delighted to be working with fantastic local producers around Wexford delivering great food from great people. With our unique location we guarantee a superb experience at Reeds restaurant where perfect taste flows’’ Derek Coyne (General Manager Ferrycarrig Hotel)