Ormer numbers at highest levels in years

Ormer numbers on local beaches have risen to the highest levels some local fishermen have ever seen, with low tides and calm seas providing ideal conditions for ormering over the last few days.

Jason Hamon, owner of Surf & Turf shop, said that he had caught ‘a fair few hundred’ during the latest ormering tide, which finished ended on Monday.

‘My son and I went out over the weekend and caught 102 on one of the days, which is the most I’ve ever caught,’ he said.

‘We’ve sold several hundred in the shop and I expect all of what we still have to be gone by the end of today.’

Mr Hamon explained that the start of the season usually provided fishermen with more ormers to catch due to numbers having accumulated over the summer and autumn, and he was looking forward to going out again on 5 February, which is the start of the next tide.

‘The signs are good for the future. There were lots of small ones as well as the big ones, which is promising’, he said.

Paul Lawrence, left, and Jason Hamon of Surf & Turf with some of the ormers they have collected. (31718545)

Recreational fisherman Daniel Bourgaize said that he went ormering on all three permitted days, and was surprised at the amount he was able to collect.

‘I went out near Lihou on one of the days,’ he said.

‘The tide was so far back that some of the rocks that you don’t usually see were uncovered, and I caught 57 ormers in an hour-and-a-half. I even know someone who caught 180, which is unheard of to me.’

He added that the increase in numbers was probably down to a variety of factors, including tidal currents, environmental changes and changes in atmospheric pressure.

Mr Bourgaize echoed Mr Hamon’s delight at seeing large numbers of small ormers, and was optimistic about the long-term future of ormering.

‘You have to wait for the small ones to grow before you’re allowed to collect them.

'But with the amount I’ve seen over the last few days, I would expect there to be good seasons for at least the next five to 10 years.

'There really are that many out there,’ he said.

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