The event has previously grabbed the attention of the national media, attracted celebrity chefs and been named as one of the top 52 UK weekends away by Lonely Planet. It gives the town and local fishing industry a boost, restaurants create a wide variety of imaginative recipes and fishmongers usual sell out, despite serving an astounding 15,000 odd Rye Bay scallops every year.
In 2009, The Hairy Bikers helped launch the festival and chatted to fishermen on the quayside before boarding a boat to fish for the delicacy and sampling the local catch. Si King and Dave Myers are well known to BBC viewers for touring the globe on vintage motorcycles in search of authentic culinary experiences. And 2009 also served up the inaugural What a Load of Scallops race, organised by the Ship Inn. Seven teams met up at Market Fisheries with wheelbarrows full of wet sand and scallops, then ran as fast as they could to the finish line at the pub.