THIS year's Dorset Seafood Festival has raised £8,000 for the Fishermen's Mission charity - bringing the total amount raised to just under £90,000 since the much-loved extravaganza began.

Stallholders enjoyed a roaring trade at the festival, with Oystermen selling more than 2,500 oysters, Weyfish selling more than 750 lobsters and Brancaster Bay selling a quarter of a tonne of mussels.

The popular two-day festival, which was cancelled last year due to coronavirus restrictions, was held in September on Weymouth Peninsula for the first time.

READ MOREIN PICTURES: Dorset Seafood Festival gets under way at new location in Weymouth

Dorset Echo: This year's Dorset Seafood Festical has raised £8,000 for the Fishermen's Mission Picture Dorset Seafood FestivalThis year's Dorset Seafood Festical has raised £8,000 for the Fishermen's Mission Picture Dorset Seafood Festival

The seafood extravaganza, which usually takes place on the harbourside in July, is considered one of the most celebrated weekends in Weymouth’s event calendar, annually attracting around 60,000 visitors.

This year, because of Covid regulations and uncertainty, festival organisers were forced to move the location and introduced a ticketing system with £10 entry fee so they could limit and safely manage visitors coming in.

Around 8,000 visitors went along to the event, new-look Nyetimber Dorset Seafood Festival brought together top local seafood producers from the South West and across the country, and showcased top chefs, sustainable produce, beer and wine tastings, live music and brand new features.

Delighted organisers today announced the event had raised £8,000 for the Fishermen's Mission.

The Fishermen’s Mission is the only fishermen’s charity that provides emergency support alongside practical, financial, spiritual, and emotional care. The charity helps all fishermen, active or retired, and their families. Organisers, sponsors, and visitors all played key roles in raising much needed funds for the charity. Fishing continues to be the most dangerous peacetime job in the UK.

Dean Lawrence, Corporate Partnerships Manager for the Fishermen’s Mission commented: “It is so humbling that despite the economic times everyone is faced with now, people can come together and help to raise such vital funds which enable us to help fishermen and their families. We are so thankful to the Dorset Seafood Festival team for the continued support. Everyone works so hard to raise awareness of the charity and vital funds”.

The festival also rewards exhibitors who use regional and responsibly-sourced seafood, with Sam Fanshawe, from UK Marine Projects Manager Blue Marine Foundation, judging those at this year's event.

Dorset Shellfish have been named the overall gold winners of the sustainability awards, while Weymouth 51 was given gold. Catch IOW and Butcombe received silver and the Oyster Men got bronze.

Caroline Drever, owner of Dorset Shellfish said: "It was incredible to be part of such a wonderful seafood festival – it is our favourite one! With everything that has happened in the world over the past two years, to be rewarded and acknowledged for all our efforts into responsible and sustainable fishing is incredible! We can’t wait for next year!