Jock I can count on my fingers the number of times I had great fish and chips..and that is from someone living by the sea. It gets worse in other areas.
I know what you mean,we in Scotland have some of the finest seafood in the world,yet we export the vast percentage to Europe!
By far the finest fresh fish i've ever tasted was line caught (by me) on vacation on the Isle of Skye,straight from the sea to the pan in less than an hour,a whopping big Pollack fillet,it was delicious!
The scallops and langoustines are beyond compare too imo.
(I DO admit a slight bias of course)
My first ever job was working on the fish,the really early starts were a killer for a teenager but the money was good!
The one thing to remember when buying fish (as i'm sure you know) is....fresh fish shouldn't smell of fish!