Europe’s Last Sail-Powered Fishing Fleet Faces a Stormy Future

Ever since 1876, mechanical dredging on the Fal has been banned. Dredging, which involves towing a metal cage along the estuary bed to harvest the shellfish which grow there, must be done under the power of ‘sail or oar’; no motors may be used.,, Two types of vessels dredge for oysters. The larger, gaff-rigged boats can use a motor to get out to the oyster beds, but must work under wind power once the dredge is down. Row boats—or punts, as they’re called locally—are able to access the shallower waters and smaller inlets. “It basically works by putting out an anchor and a hand-hauling winch,” explains Tim Vinnicombe, a fifth-generation oysterman who works a 150-year-old boat that he converted to an oyster dredger in the 1970s. >click to read< 19:28

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