Tag Archives: England

Fisherman John ‘Jack’ Hale, of Lowestoft,102, has passed away

Born John Federick, the respected fisherman only ever wanted to sail and he became the proud owner of a boat aged just 10. An independent soul, he would go on to run a successful business in Lowestoft which would see him work alongside both his son and grandsons.  He was also proud to have broken an inshore fishing record in October 1968 with a herring catch in his boat the Seafarer. “He also fished with his son, Mike, who fished with him from about the age of 12, and they went on to own boats together. “It became a real family business when two of his grandsons began their working lives fishing with them.” Photos, >click to read< 10:32

‘A’ is for Algrie, end of a fishing era.

A piece of fishing history left through the gaps this week on her way to be scrapped in Ghent, Belgium – the Algrie was the very first trawler purchased by the Stevenson family fishing firm to enter the harbour in 1976 and start was to become the the largest privately owned beam trawl fishing fleet in Europe. In 1982, the 70ft Algrie found her beam trawls attached to the nuclear attack sub HMS Spartan in the waters off Land’s End in 1982 and towed her for quite some time before the sub surfaced. Legend has it that, at first, the Navy via the coastguard, denied there was a submarine in the area! Video, Lots of photos, >click to read< 12:48

Fishing group’s list of over 100 reports of incidents and concerns since 2021 marine die-offs

Since October 2021, fishermen have been battling for the region’s ecosystem after swathes of dead crabs, lobsters, and shellfish washed up on beaches. Environmentalists and fishermen fought for answers – with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs eventually launching a probe.While the initial Defra report said an algal bloom was the most likely cause, further investigations found that a “novel pathogen” was most likely to blame. Independent marine and university experts as well as the fishermen believed dredging on the Tees unearthed historical toxins leading to the mass die off – but this has also been ruled out by the authorities.  Incident reports listed by the NEFC, and what a sad list it is, >click to read< 21:34

‘The job’s f****d’ – Fishers slam local MP for comments

The North East Fishing Collective (NEFC), which represents fishers from Hartlepool to Whitby, was established to support fishers along that stretch of coast after unexplained mass deaths of shellfish in the area in several events from September 2021 onwards left them without catches. Hartlepool MP, Jill Mortimer, last week shared a photo of her in a meeting with Environment Minister Mark Spencer in Parliament where she described how “prawners have experienced a temporary but significant reduction in their catches due to prawns burrowing into sands.” “The prawns and catches returned,” she wrote, however the NEFC has disputed this in no uncertain terms. >click to read< 14:57

SNP must dump the Greens and ditch HPMAs

In England, marine conservationists have persuaded the Westminster Government to designate around 0.53% of coastal waters as HPMAs in a series of pilot projects. But in Scotland, the area is more than 20 times greater, threatening livelihoods and entire fishing communities. Kate Forbes, the former SNP contender for the job of First Minister, says that “if the proposals go ahead as planned, the rarest species in our coastal areas and islands will soon be people.” Scotland’s fishing communities are not alone in their opposition to new marine conservation measures. In Europe, fishers from many countries are staging a series of protests against European Commission proposals aimed at “protecting and restoring marine ecosystems for sustainable and resilient fisheries”. >click to read< 08:40

South Shields lifeboat, the Bedford, restored by maritime trust

Constructed in 1886, The Bedford was the last lifeboat to be built by the Tyne Lifeboat Institution – now the Tyne Lifeboat Society. She was launched on 55 occasions between 1887 and 1937 and is of great historical significance to the maritime heritage of South Shields. The Bedford was built in 1886 by Lancelot Lambert at the Lawe Building Yard. It was named by a Miss Bedford, who bequeathed £1,000 – about £468,900 in today’s money- to the Lifeboat Society Trustees for a lifeboat to be named in memory of her brother, Benjamin, who was an engineer with the Tyne Improvement Commission. Photos,  >click to read< 17:45

Charity calls on government to help Teesside fishermen

Just over 18 months ago, waves of dead and dying shellfish began washing up on mile after mile of shoreline in the north-east of England. No-one knew why they were dying or what had killed them and, despite a series of investigations, there is still no definitive answer. The sun is shining on Hartlepool harbour. A couple of fishermen are working on their nets and another is looking out at sea. It’s calm, but he’s asking himself, “Is it worth going out today?” It’s a question more and more local fishermen are contemplating. The industry they were born into was hit hard in 2021 when thousands of dead crabs and lobsters were washed up on the north-east coast. They say wash ups continue today and something new is happening – prawn catches have plummeted by up to 90%. >click to read< 15:12

Cleethorpes PETA ad compares eating fish to ‘eating a cat’

Animal rights charity PETA has put up a new billboard near a Cleethorpes chippy telling locals that ‘eating fish is like eating a cat’. The new advert is located at 145 Grimsby Road in Cleethorpes. The neighbouring town of Grimsby is a key player in the UK’s seafood processing industry, and was once the fishing capital of the world. The striking billboard shows a smiling fishmonger holding a limp fish from one angle and a dead cat from another. >click to read< 14:30

Not for the pot: how ‘V-notching’ lobsters may help save them

Cornishman Ned Bailey has caught and returned ‘notched’ lobsters for years as part of a broader effort to preserve stocks. But many fishers do not. He tosses out stray crabs, several starfish and a squirming conger eel. Every so often he pulls out a lobster: if the carapace is over 90mm (3.5in) long, he keeps it; if not, it’s thrown back into the sea, in line with regulations. But today, one lobster, the underside of its tail bursting with clusters of inky-black eggs, is kept aside. This is a berried hen, a pregnant female, carrying about 20,000 eggs.  Bailey cuts a small “V” into its dappled royal-blue and yellow tail before gently laying the lobster back in the water. Now she is marked as illegal for others to land – and with any luck her reproductive potential is secured for a few more years. >click to read< 09:39

Scientists who investigated crab and lobster die off ‘surprised’ politicians have ‘questioned their integrity’

The 13-person panel of experts conducted a review of all the evidence gathered during a government-run investigation into the deaths of the crustaceans, which began washing ashore between Hartlepool and Whitby in October 2021. The panel said it was “unable to identify a clear and convincing single cause” but the “most likely” explanation is an unknown disease or parasite killed the crustaceans, after it was convened by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’s (Defra) Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Gideon Henderson. The findings have been disputed in recent weeks by local fishermen and a number of Labour MPs, with Geraint Davies claiming it was “farcical” to suggest a “phantom pathogen” caused the deaths. >click to read< 09:05

Remembering the Milford Knight crew

This week in TRM “Old Trawler Corner” is the Milford Knight M127 (see photo) built in Selby in 1950, a steel-sided, diesel, crabber class trawler, that sailed out of Milford from 1950 to 1955, when it moved to Lowestoft and became the Trinidad. We’ve also got a snap of one of her crews (see photo) which Ethel Clark described as follows: “Genial Skipper Thompson was affectionately known as “Womps” in the Milford industry. A member of a well-known Lowestoft born fishing family, with five brothers, all Skippers.”It was in the Second World War that Skipper Thompson won the MBE, after his trawler the Slebech saved Skipper Billy Burgoyne and his crew when his ship, the Fort Rona, was bombed and sunk in the Irish Sea.  Photos, >click to read< 17:39

Brixham trawler sank rapidly after capsizing off Devon coast

Government experts have completed their investigation into the sinking of a Brixham-registered trawler off the East Devon coast. The Angelena capsized and sank off Exmouth in June 2021, and the skipper was rescued unhurt from the water by a nearby military launch. The interim report published today says the steel-hulled stern trawler Angelena, which was built in 1988, sank just before midday on June 18 2021 around eight nautical miles southeast of Exmouth while its fishing gear was being recovered by the skipper, who was operating the vessel alone. The cod end was full of sand, mud and fish. >click to read<  19:38

Taking under 10 Metre Trawlers to a New Level

Built for North Deven fishing company S&J Trawlers, F/V Our Frankie Shan is the latest and most advanced in a series of under ten-metre trawlers that have come from the C Toms & Son yard. F/V Our Frankie Shan is an SC McAllister design by Ian Paton and draws on the success of previous trawlers built to the same pattern, starting with F/V Saxon Spirit, also built at C Toms in 2018m and followed by Claude Henry and Simon Paul – and with another soon to be completed 10m trawler under construction. This latest vessel is designed as a multi-purpose fishing vessel capable of alternating trawling with either doors or beam gear, and scalloping. with the deck laid out for a quick switchover between fishing methods. Photos, >click to read< 08:07

Dartmouth fisherman remembered 40 years on

A Dartmouth family is remembering a crabber who was lost at sea 40 years ago today. 28 year old Paul Goddard had been crabbing off Weymouth on March 12 1983. Tragically he and his boat, the Exuberent, disappeared and he was never found. Former crew member Alan Spencer said: “She was a Cygnus Garry Mitchell design 32-foot displacement hull work boat.“ In the winter of 1981 it was decided to move her and her fishing gear to the “Over falls” off Weymouth in Dorset as fishing was rich there at that time of the year. On March 12 1983 she was being brought back to Dartmouth by the” Skipper” alone as the crew moved all the boats husbandry back to Dartmouth by road. “What happened next will never be known exactly. >click to read< 12:11

Holy Island fishing ban set to be dropped after outcry

The government had been exploring designating it a Highly Protected Marine Area (HPMA), which would have seen fishing halted. But fears were voiced it would devastate the local economy. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it would designate its first English HPMA later this year. Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan tweeted a copy of a letter she received from Environment Secretary Therese Coffey stating her department would not designate Lindisfarne (Holy Island) an HPMA. Local fishermen warned they were worried about the future and in September local councillors said pressing ahead with the proposal would turn the area into a “museum”. >click to read< 08:37

Valentine’s Day drama at sea as trawler sinks off coast of Cornwall

A Royal Navy helicopter on a training flight stood ready to act as a trawler crew abandoned their sinking boat off the coast of Cornwall yesterday evening. Sennen Cove Lifeboat ultimately rescued the crew-of-four as their Belgian fishing boat rapidly sank beneath the waves south of Land’s End. The alarm was raised at around 6pm by the trawler’s skipper. Sennen’s RNLI volunteer were scrambled by Falmouth Coastguard following a mayday call from the 24-metre fishing vessel taking on water approximately two miles south of Porthgwarra. >click to read< 13:20

Labour slams government over ‘discredited theory’ for mysterious big crustacean die-off

Shadow environment secretary Jim McMahon has written to his opposite number in government, Therese Coffey, to criticise her department’s theory that algal bloom caused the deaths. Thousands of dead and dying crustaceans washed ashore along parts of the north-east coast of England between October and December 2021. On 17 January, a panel of independent experts convened by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) chief scientific officer Gideon Henderson concluded: “A novel pathogen is considered the most likely cause of mortality. However, the panel was “unable to identify a clear and convincing single cause for the unusual crustacean mortality”. >click to read< 12:10

55 years on, brother remembers skipper, 26, lost in the Triple Trawler Tragedy

The St Romanus went down in the North Sea, where, is still not known. Vic was 22 and fishing, but at home with a crushed finger, over the weeks the tragedy unfolded. He recalls the “numbness” that set in and the fading hope that the ship’s radio had broken down. “As time goes on and the life raft is found and a life ring, you do realise that the end was there,” he said. Vic, the vice chairman of fishing heritage charity Stand, says the loss of his brother is “still very raw”. Jim “like any older brother (was) a role model and hero”. >click to read< 07:55

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