Sales of ‘alternative fish’ species are soaring at Morrisons after a drive by the retailer’s fishmongers to encourage Brits to try seafood outside of the ‘big five’ species.

The supermarket said sales of John Dory increased by 775%, red gurnard by 475%, dab by 195% and pouting by 16.5% in the 25 weeks to 16 July, compared to the year before. The so-called big five comprises salmon, prawns, tuna, cod and haddock.

Morrisons’ fishmongers had been helping people experiment with different types of fish by recommending alternatives and they had really taken to lesser-known species, said head of seafood Frank Green.

“Opening our own seafood site in Grimsby next month, something no other supermarket does, will allow us to continue to offer the widest variety and freshest fish on the market,” he said.

The news comes after Sainsbury’s yesterday published a report highlighting its own progress selling less heralded types of fish.

For more news on Morrisons’ plans for its Grimsby fish factory and its seafood category, see this weekend’s edition of The Grocer.