Multiples confirm the appeal of fish that do not seem fishy' Meaty fish muscles its way into UK's palates Kit Davies The Seychelles This part of the Western Indian Ocean is a relatively minor source of fresh exotic fish for the British market. But even here a growing demand for swordfish has been noted. Fishing industry sources globally are pointing to striking growth patterns for fish species that Western consumers ­ squeamish about skin, bones and smell ­ perceive as not being fishy'. Tuna is the main beneficiary but now meaty textured' fish such as swordfish and marlin are making an impact on the British retail scene. The islands' economy is dominated by the Heinz plant which supplies canned tuna to Europe, but there have also been developments in niche fresh fish offerings to the UK. Glenny Savy, chairman of the Seychelles Fisheries Authority, and a co-director of the Indian Ocean Tuna board, said: "Previously empty containers are now going out with exports such as fresh tuna and swordfish for the UK. Swordfish exports in particular have grown from being virtually non-existent to more than 600 tonnes today." Main sources of swordfish for Safeway are Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Safeway fish development manager Duncan Lucas said: "The current growth sector in fish is very definitely exotic fish and shellfish. Customers are attracted to swordfish because what you eat seems to have no relation to fish. "Swordfish actually has a porky meaty texture, and is not a strong smelling fish. It is fantastic for barbecues as it can be turned into steak. Marlin is not as popular but that is a growing market too." Lucas said a recent weekend promotion at Safeway stores had seen sales rise six fold: "It was phenomenal." He said Safeway was looking into the launch of swordfish in its prepack range. Sainsbury labels swordfish steaks as having the texture of fresh pork'. Asda said: "We have seen an increase in sales of fish that has a meaty texture. We thought sales might dip after the barbecue season, but interest has remained high." At Waitrose, demand for swordfish has been strong throughout the past year, with a 10% increase in sales. "Our customers see this as an ideal meat replacement," said a spokesperson. According to Waitrose, there are major concerns over declining number of swordfish from the North Atlantic, thus the majority of swordfish reaching the UK is sourced from the Indian and Pacific oceans using sustainable line fishing methods. {{MEAT }}