Tag Archives: England

Brexit three years on: The fishing industry says ‘It’s killing us’

Of all the many Brexit battlegrounds, fishing was one of the hardest-fought. It moved beyond political promises and threats into legal action, angry blockades and trawlers being seized. Having spent almost 50 years as a fisherman, Ian Perkes was at the heart of the matter. Fishing out of Brixham, south-west England, Perkes voted ‘Leave’ in order to rid himself of EU competition and quotas. When CGTN Europe spoke to him in 2021, it was already proving difficult, with extra paperwork and costs eliminating profits. Two years on, has the situation improved? It’s a far cry from the post-Brexit dream that Perkes was sold by former UK prime minister Boris Johnson and other members of the ‘Leave’ campaign. >click to read< 21:00

Hull headscarf parade to raise money for trawler statue

A parade through Hull will raise funds to build a statue honouring four women who campaigned for trawler safety measures in the 1960s. The Headscarf Revolutionaries took on the fishing industry and the government after three boats sank in 1968 with the loss of 58 crew. Now campaigners are aiming to raise £100,000 for a memorial to them. The four women – Lillian Bilocca, Yvonne Blenkinsop, Mary Denness and Christine Jensen – fought for tougher safety laws. The trawlers – St Romanus, Kingston Peridot and Ross Cleveland – all sank within two weeks of each other off the Icelandic coast, with only one survivor. >click to read< 08;38

Defra accused of ‘remarkably poor scientific practice’ over crabs

University academics have criticised a government-commissioned report into mass crab die-offs on England’s north-east coast, with one accusing it of “remarkably poor scientific practice”, and they pledged to continue their research into the matter. The academics, from the universities of Newcastle, Durham and York, believe pollution caused crab and lobster deaths rather than a new pathogen, which a report from the environment department found to be the most likely cause of the deaths despite no direct evidence for such a disease. The report, and its criticisms, follow controversy over an unusually large number of dead or dying crabs and lobsters found along the north-east coast of England in the autumn and winter of 202. >click to read< 16:11

‘What about us?’

Forgotten fishermen caught in the middle of a storm over the North Sea crustacean deaths last night asked ‘what about us’, after a report into the wash-ups was published. Fishermen working off the Teesside coast have told how they’re struggling to make a living with depleted numbers of sea life following mass deaths. A fresh report into the deaths released at noon on Friday was unable to find a conclusive cause for the mass wash-ups. Hartlepool Fisherman Paul Graves said: “If my wife stopped working I would be screwed. “I used to go two miles out and would never go more than six, but now I have to go 20 miles out to have any chance of catching anything. >click to read< 10:28

No definite answer to cause of mass crab deaths on north-east coast

Thousands of dead and dying crustaceans were found piled high along beaches along the north-east coast of England during a three month period. Research by academics, backed by the fishing industry, suggested the incident could have been caused by industrial pollutant pyridine, possibly from dredging in the mouth of the River Tees to maintain channels for port traffic. However this has now been deemed “exceptionally unlikely”. And while the panel said it was impossible to give a definitive answer using current data, it concluded on Friday that it was “about as likely as not” that a pathogen new to UK waters – a potential disease or parasite – caused the crab deaths. >click to read< 09:52

The hungover fisherman who narrowly escaped Triple Trawler Tragedy

As the 55th anniversary of the Triple Trawler Tragedy comes around this year, the 58 men who perished during the series of three disasters are remembered. Seafarers on the St Romanus, Kingston Peridot, and Ross Cleveland sadly died in the winter of 1968 between January 11 and February 5, when each of the three trawlers sank. Only one survivor- Harry Eddom – made it out of the Ross Cleveland shipwreck in the freezing Icelandic conditions and was miraculously found and saved. However, there was also another fisherman that was meant to be on that trawler, but a bad hangover prevented him from getting up on time. Walter Longden, known as Walla, visited the memorial to pay respect to his lost friends and shared how it could have also been his name on the plaque. >click to read< 08:08

Remembering four fishermen who died near Penzance in Vierge Marie tragedy

Four fishermen who tragically lost their lives when their boat floundered onto rocks off Cornwall have been remembered by the descendants of those who tried to save them. The four fishermen from Ostend in Belgium were part of a crew of six when the motor trawler Vierge Marie hit the rocks in heavy seas, strong winds and thick fog conditions. The incident was reported at 7.40am on January 11, 1937 by a local police officer who alerted the crew of the W&S lifeboat who launched the lifeboat from Penlee Point at 8am and steamed down the coast to the site of the wreck. >click to read< 09:55

Is the freeport to blame for loss of marine life in Teesside?

The deaths of thousands of crabs on the beaches of Teesside and North Yorkshire has created bitter divisions between the fishing industry and the government. With so much disagreement over the cause, the issue has “set off a row that shows little sign of dying off”, In October 2021, crabs and lobsters began washing up dead on the beaches in the region. The beaches were “piled with hundreds of thousands of dead and dying crabs and lobster” With their catches plummeting, the fishing industry has called for financial support from the government to “save” the North East fleet in the face of the huge losses. >click to read< 11:00

Cornish family business Rowse Fishing Ltd fined for illegal lobster fishing

A Cornish family business supplying crab and lobster to local and international markets and a vessel master have been fined big for illegal lobster fishing. On Wednesday (January 11) at Truro Magistrates’ Court, Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) successfully prosecuted Rowse Fishing Limited and Ben Rowse, 26, of Penzance, the respective owner and master of the vivier potting vessel Emma Louise TO60. Rowse Fishing Ltd and Ben Rowse pleaded guilty to the offences of fishing for berried, v-notched or mutilated lobsters. Magistrates sentenced the company to a fine of £20,000 and the payment of prosecution costs amounting to £6,309.90. The master was fined £2,338 plus a victim surcharge of £190. >click to read< 20:30

Hull Maritime gets £250,000 from Foyle Foundation for Arctic Corsair visitor attraction

The grant has come from The Foyle Foundation, a leading UK supporter of learning and the arts, and will help towards developing the new centre at the former North End Shipyard, the future permanent home for the Arctic Corsair. Work to transform North End Shipyard is under way and is expected to open to visitors in 2024. Hull Maritime is a major regeneration project funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the city council. Five key maritime treasures will be transformed to create a new maritime experience for Hull. Elements include the restoration of two ships – Arctic Corsair and the Spurn Lightship – the regeneration of the former North End Shipyard, Dock Office Chambers and the Hull Maritime Museum will be refurbished. >click to read< 17:29

Hull’s fishing community unites to remember victims of the Triple Trawler Tragedy

The fishing community gathered together on the corner of Hessle Road and Boulevard to mark the 55th anniversary of the St Romanus trawler sinking. The terrible incident in 1968 that claimed the lives of 20 men was the first in a series of three disasters at sea, known as the Triple Trawler Tragedy. Every year, former fishermen, headscarf revolutionaries and family members of the deceased gather to remember the 58 men who lost their lives on the St Romanus, Kingston Peridot and Ross Cleveland. The memorial service was an emotional one, with many mourning the loss of old colleagues and school friends. The 20 victims’ names were read out before a minute’s silence. Photos>click to read< 18:39

Brixham fish fleet smashes records with amazing £60.8m bonanza

The best ever year of trading in Brixham’s long history of fishing also means a windfall of around £1.5m to Torbay Council. Industry leaders are celebrating their success today, but also warning that the port must expand if that success is going to continue. And the new record comes as a “silver lining” after the UK fishing industry struggled to find ways to cope with the effects of a disappointing Brexit. Brixham Trawler Agents managing director Barry Young said there had been no doubt that Covid, Brexit, record fuel prices and the cost of living crisis meant 2022 would be tough to predict. But, he said, it soon became clear that the value of fish sold on Brixham Fish Market would break existing records. >click to read< 07:59

South Devon College launches fishing apprenticeship

Working alongside regional employers, apprentices on the scheme will learn how to sustainably harvest fish and shellfish as well as learn about fishing methods. Laurence Gilson, who has been working as a fisherman for 16 years, like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him is undertaking the apprenticeship. He is one of around 11,000 fishers in the UK. “I work 12 hours a day in the wheelhouse on six hour shifts,” he said. “I spend my life chasing something just like a video game and I know what I’m chasing is worth money and what I’ve chased I’ve done it all myself.” He added: “If you’ve got the drive to make you want to go into the industry there’s no ends to what you can do in this job. Set a goal and achieve the goal. The sky’s the limit.” >click to read< 11:28

Whitehall’s eco-zealots are threatening the livelihoods of families who have fished off Holy Island for 1,000 years

Defra, the Whitehall department responsible for fishing, proposes to create a Highly Protected Marine Area of 50 square miles covering the island and parts of the nearby Farne Islands that will have the effect of banning fishing. ‘It will wipe us out and destroy Holy Island as a living and working community,’ says Shaun Brigham, 55, who has been fishing these waters since leaving school at the age of 15. ‘All that’s here is tourism and fishing – so take the fishing away and what would be left? Defra talks about ‘rewilding the sea’ but has produced no evidence that anything here needs rewilding.’ On the contrary, stocks of lobster and brown and velvet crab – which are the only sea-life that can be fished in what is already a highly regulated industry – are greater than they have been for decades, not least because it’s in the long-term interests of the fishermen to abide by strict sustainability rules. >click to read< 13:58

Final Landing by Farnella Ahead of Vessel Sale

Farnella H 135 ended her 22-year career on 11 December, making her final landing into Hanstholm, after which a thank-you breakfast was held for the crew, reports Gaby Bartai. Owner UK Fisheries announced in November that the vessel would cease fishing at the end of the year, as a consequence of the loss of distant-water quota opportunity in successive end-of-year negotiations with Norway. On 13 December Farnella sailed for Cuxhaven, where she will be sold. This will leave Kirkella as the only remaining vessel in UK Fisheries’ Hull- based fleet. >click to read< 15:38

Lifeboatman of 60 years ‘dumbfounded’ to receive British Empire Medal

Helping to save lives at sea for more than 60 years means he is no stranger to thank you’s. But Cromer 93-year-old Edwin Luckin said he was bowled over when he heard he would receive a particularly big ‘thank you’ – a British Empire Medal. Mr Luckin, who is known to everyone as Ted, has been included on the official list of New Year’s honours for his services to maritime safety. He said: “I was dumbfounded when it came through. My daughter got onto me and said ‘my mother would have been proud of you’.” Mr Luckin said the BEM – awarded for meritorious community service worthy of recognition by the Crown – was a great honour and a nice way to round out a long career of involvement with Cromer’s RNLI station. Photos, >click to read< 13:03

Iconic fishing trawler with exciting history could return to Grimsby’s waters following restoration

An infamous trawler which played a key role in the fishing industry heyday, bringing home the world’s biggest catch, and then used as the base for a formerly illegal pirate radio station could be brought back to its home waters of Grimsby. Home to independent and now legitimate radio station, Radio Caroline, the Ross Revenge trawler – sister ship to the Ross Tiger – began fishing out of Grimsby in 1963 and brought home record catches of fish, including the world record of 218 tonnes of Icelandic cod in 1976, which sold for over £75,000. Photos, >click to read< 08:19

F/V Arcturus: Fuming Scots fishing boat skipper who rescued migrants says UK authorities acting as ‘taxi service’

The Scottish skipper of the fishing boat which helped rescue dozens of migrants from the English Channel last week, has angrily hit out at UK immigration policy for making the tragedy “inevitable”. Raymond Strachan told GB News that British authorities have been acting as a “migrant taxi service” encouraging ever increasing numbers of people to make the journey. In his first full interview since his six-man crew pulled 31 migrants from the freezing waters, the skipper said they often see migrant boats making the dangerous crossing. “It doesn’t matter your political views about the migrant crisis, when you see people in the water, screaming, shouting, begging for their life. If you’ve any compassion at all, then human nature kicks in and the thing to do is rescue people, and that’s what we did.” >click to read< 08:53

Boat that helped save 39 migrants returns to Plymouth

A fishing trawler which helped rescue 39 migrants attempting to cross the English Channel has returned to Plymouth. A dinghy was found sinking in freezing waters off the Kent coast in the early hours on Wednesday. A 19-year-old man has been charged over the deaths of four people who died in the Channel. Skipper Raymond Strachan said his boat and crew were “just in the right place at the right time”. >click to read< 12:32

Teenager charged after deadly Channel migrant boat sinking – The United Kingdom has charged a 19-year-old man over a deadly incident in the English Channel in which a boat packed with migrants capsized, resulting in the loss of four lives. >click to read<

Angry fishermen stage protest at Tees dredging plans including one who’s lost all his crew

Fishermen from Hartlepool, Redcar and Whitby who have seen their livelihoods “decimated” by the shellfish die-offs along the North-east coast joined the rally. Fishermen fear chemicals released by dredging work to develop the Teesside freeport are to blame for the die-offs. Joe Redfern, a fisherman and founder of Whitby’s lobster hatchery, said: “The freeport is a massive government agenda. We are all for the jobs and regeneration and want to see this part of the world flourish and prosper. “But if you are going to do a big dredging operation in the most toxic river in the whole country, take the sediment to landfill. Don’t dump it in the sea. >click to read< 13:06

Questions over Teesside Freeport’s role when it comes to washed up fish – Andy Brown

A new deep water port is being created to service the offshore wind industry and new facilities are being established to build the turbines. In theory a bustling freeport will usher in a new age of industrial prosperity for a long-neglected part of the north with pesky regulations being swept away so that they don’t delay progress. There is, of course, much to be admired about the project. Unfortunately rushing to build without worrying too much about the consequences for others can also bring big problems. In this case those downsides are having a huge impact on the livelihoods of Yorkshire fishing communities and on the health of a huge area of our coastline. >click to read< 11:26

Hull’s Quiet Disaster: The Christmas Day Tragedy of St. Finbarr

St Finbarr’s final trip was plagued by bad luck from the start. She took 14 days battling atrocious weather to get to Newfoundland’s Grand Banks, a trip usually done in half that time. Electrical faults reported from previous trips caused three delays before she even set sail from Hull’s St Andrew’s Dock on 16 November 1966. Ironically, it was St Andrew’s Day (the patron saint of fishermen), 30 November, when she reached the Newfoundland fishing grounds on her thirteenth and final trip. She had endured 38 days of foul weather, from Yorkshire’s Spurn Point to the storm-lashed grounds of the Grand Banks. Skipper Tommy Sawyer, a hard taskmaster, pushed his ship and her crew to the limit, 8 Photos, >click to read< 14:22

What a transformation! Before and after photos as Ross Tiger deck works complete

Vital renovation works to the deck of historic trawler Ross Tiger are now complete. The scheme, which started on Monday 5 September, has included removing the rotten timber deck to reveal the steel deck below which was then inspected, grit blasted and painted. Some of the timber was able to be removed for conservation and will return to the museum’s collection. The visual and ultrasound inspections revealed the steelwork to be in much better condition than it could have been, with only minor repairs required. Photos, >click to read< 10:08

Hull’s once mighty deep-sea fleet down to one, as MP says Tories have ‘betrayed’ fishing industry

One of the two remaining Hull-based deep-sea trawlers will retire before the end of the year, as a city MP said the Government had “betrayed” the fishing industry over distant-water quotas in the wake of Brexit. The Farnella is owned by UK Fisheries, which also operates the supertrawler Kirkella. The company said a dozen “skilled and loyal” crew members were set to lose their jobs and it was working to find them other roles in the industry. “This is a sad day for us,” said Jane Sandell, the company’s chief executive. “The UK’s failure to negotiate adequate quotas for us in our traditional grounds in the northern external waters has led to this difficult decision.” Video, >click to read< 06:46

Panel to investigate crab and lobster deaths on north-east coast of England

The UK government is to set up an independent expert panel to investigate the cause of the mass die-offs of crabs and lobsters on the north-east coast of England, it has announced. The panel will consider the impact of dredging around a freeport development in Teesside and the presence of pyridine, a chemical pollutant, among other potential causes, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said. Mark Spencer, the fisheries minister, said on Tuesday: “I recognise fishing communities in the north-east want as thorough an assessment as possible into the crab and lobster deaths last year. >click to read< 07:35

Podcast: The mystery of Teesside’s dead crabs

In the autumn of 2021, the beaches of Teesside, in north-east England, were transformed. Along the sands lay hundreds of thousands of dead and dying crabs and lobsters. It was, in the words of a parliamentary committee, a “disaster” that had had a “profound effect”. Fishers who had relied on the catches in the cold North Sea waters suddenly saw their livelihoods drop off a cliff. Many could not believe what they were seeing. They wanted answers. Podcast, >click to listen/read< 09:14

Brixham family’s plea for help over fisherman’s funeral

The daughter of a Brixham fisherman whose working life took him to ports all over the West Country has launched an online appeal to raise funds for his funeral. Scott Shay died recently at the age of 50, and his daughter Rio is hoping to raise £1,800 for the funeral and burial. “Dad was from Port Isaac in Cornwall and got into fishing when he was a young teenager. He was a trawlerman until he had a life-changing accident on the boat at sea in 2018. After this, and a long hospital stay in coma, he stayed in Brixham with his beautiful husky Winston. “I really hate to ask for help but realistically I have to.” >click to read<, and please donate if you can.

Mass shellfish deaths off Whitby area coastline to be probed in Government’s new hearing – Middlesbrough Council ‘absolutely on board’

The Government’s Environment Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee is to probe the deaths of large numbers of crustaceans off the coast over the past year in a hearing at the House of Commons on Tuesday October 25. ERFA previously blamed algal bloom as the cause of the deaths, but an independent probe carried out recently pointed towards dredging and the chemical pyridine being the most likely cause, with some Whitby fishermen calling for the dredging of the Tees to halt. >click to read< Middlesbrough Council ‘absolutely on board’ with joint probe planned into crustacean deaths – Councillor Mick Saunders, chairman of Middlesbrough Council’s overview and scrutiny board, said: “Absolutely we are on board, I think there’s more to come out really, more than what the Government has been saying. Meanwhile, self-employed Hartlepool fisherman Stan Rennie, a member of the North East Fishing Collective (NEFC), has said fishermen are in a “desperate position” with half of the town’s shellfish fleet lost in the past year. >click to read< 08:30

Whitby fishermen – ‘We demand that future dredging operations be halted’

The investigation, commissioned by the North East Fishing Collective, was looking experimentally at the impact of pyridine on crabs, which could have been released by dredging, saying it was the most likely killer of the crustaceans. Fishing businesses and livelihoods around the Whitby coastline, from Teesside down to Scarborough, have been severely impacted, with the amount of crab on traditional fishing grounds decimated. James Cole, Chairman of Whitby Commercial Fishing Association, said: “We demand that future dredging operations be halted until proven beyond doubt that no harmful pollutants will enter our environment and fishing grounds. >click to read< 08:55

World War II American fighter cockpit found by Lowestoft fishermen

Lowestoft trawlerman Alex Wightman was collecting his nets on September 9, when, to his amazement, he realised the big catch he hauled overboard was the remains of a P-47 Thunderbolt cockpit, which was stuck in his net. The 16-year-old said: “Me and my skipper Jeffery Melton were out when the net tightened. It was weird because we felt something snagging the net. When Mr Wightman and his skipper got the parts on the boat they couldn’t believe the smell of petrol of the parts. Photos, >click to read< 12:48