Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Rising diesel prices push UK’s fishing industry to the brink

Trawlers and commercial fishers are now struggling under the weight of price rises that mean in many cases tens of thousands of pounds extra in diesel for a fishing trip leading to take-home pay that is below the minimum wage. The biggest trawler in Brixham, the Julie of Ladram, returned to harbour after seven days at sea earlier this month, and came close to making a loss. The captain, Sean Beck, took home just £440 for a week’s work – the equivalent of £2.60 an hour for being responsible for the ship and crew 24 hours a day. “It’s a stressful time for my family. And it’s stressful at sea – fishing’s not always great. As a skipper it’s a big responsibility to make the boat pay and make sure everybody gets a wage.”>click to read< 09:42

Family of Robert Morley ‘bemused’ by F/V Joanna C tragedy report

Robert Morley’s stepdad and mother said the outcome of an investigation into the sinking of the F/V Joanna C had not given them the “peace of mind” they hoped for. Barry and Jackie Woolford are awaiting the inquest into Robert’s death to clear up a number of “anomalies”. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch report described how Robert was thrown from the boat as it capsized and he hung onto a lifebuoy before he eventually drowned. “We lost our son but we’re really none the wiser as to why. We know how but we don’t know why. “There are anomalies which we want to ask about at the inquest.” >click to read< 19:33

F/V Nicola Faith: Fisherman’s ‘harsh working conditions’ revealed in investigation

Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were on board the Nicola Faith when it left Conwy Harbour on January 27, 2021. It capsized and sank 1.9 miles north of Rhos-on-Sea. A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch found skipper Carl McGrath pushed his crew harder than most in search of greater productivity. Aged 34, Mr McGrath had been the boat’s skipper for some three years. Previously a builder and steel fabricator, he had had no fishing experience prior to skippering the Nicola Faith. Despite this, he had completed all mandatory fishing industry safety training courses. Neither had Ross Ballantine, 39, any prior experience of fishing before taking a job on the Nicola Faith, on which he had been working for about eight months. The youngest crew member was Alan Minard, 20, who had been crewing on Nicola Faith for just two weeks. >click to read< 14:00

F/V Johanna C: Life raft failure blamed after fishermen deaths

Two fishermen died after their trawler capsized and their life raft failed to inflate, a report has said. Investigators said the failure of the life raft “impacted” the chances of two men surviving after they were thrown into the water when the Joanna C sank in November 2020. One of the men in the water died, but the other was later rescued. A third crew member drowned after being trapped in the sinking boat, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch said. MAIB chief inspector Andrew Moll said: “Unfortunately, Joanna C’s ‘float-free’ life raft arrangements did not work as expected. >click to read< 10:38

Fishing Fuel Costs at Tipping Point

Many fishing vessels are facing a cruel choice between tying-up or going to sea to make a loss. NFFO members are providing landings information that illustrate although reasonably healthy grossings are being made, after deductions for fuel earnings for crews are risible. In one example a vessel in the south-west made a landing worth £11,0489 but fuel costs swallowed £10,416. In another case, a landing of £44,176 and a fuel bill of £29,068 left £1516 to be shared amongst 8 crew. A third example was an inshore vessel after eight days fishing made £8706 but faced a fuel bill of £5234, leaving £927 for the crew. These examples illustrate that the current situation is unsustainable are at the point beyond which vessels will have to tie up. >click to read< 08:18

UK fishing industry reports Brexit woes

As well as the issue of quotas for wild-catch fisheries, the report finds, the UK’s seafood industry has been struggling with increased paperwork for exports to the European Union and labour shortages following new restrictions on recruiting staff from the EU. In winter 2021, the APPG on Fisheries released a survey to collate experiences of Brexit as reported by members of the fishing industry. Responses revealed significant and shared concerns around financial losses and the long-term viability of individual businesses, fishing fleets, and other parts of the industry including processors and transporters. >click to continue< 15:30

Fishermen seek greater understanding of wind farm impacts

Projects already in the pipeline could wreak havoc with key spawning and nursery grounds for important fish stocks, they warned today. According to Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA), there are major overlaps between proposed areas of offshore wind farm development and sensitive ecosystems for young fish. Several wind farm areas will impact the spawning and nursery grounds of Scotland’s most valuable pelagic fish stocks, such as mackerel, herring and blue whiting, the industry body added. SFA also pointed to research showing a negative impact on shellfish species from offshore turbines and associated cabling.  >click to read< 19:11

Lobsters Develop Malformations in The Presence of Submarine Power Cables

A European study recently revealed an example proving that submarine power cables can have undesirable consequences on marine animal species. The work focuses on lobster, some specimens of which may indeed present malformations. With the help of other European researchers, a laboratory at the St Abbs marine station (United Kingdom) carried out a very telling experiment. The scientists exposed no less than 4,000 lobster eggs to a level of electromagnetic field similar to those usually present near undersea cables. At the same time, they observed the development of another group of unexposed eggs. According to the results, lobsters exposed to the waves are three times more likely to suffer from malformations. >click to read< 12:26

Trawlermen fish firm crowned UK small business of the year

A Peterhead fish firm that switched from wholesale to e-commerce has landed the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Small Business of the Year 2022 award. Amity Fish Company, led by Jimmy Buchan, star of the BBC’s Trawlermen TV series, netted the overall prize at the event hosted by TV personalities Clare Balding and JJ Chalmers in Glasgow yesterday. During the pandemic, the business switched from exclusively supplying restaurants and the hospitality trade, to delivering seafood products directly to people in their homes. > click to read < 10:06

New fishing partnership enters industry

Brodie Ramsay, Jack Garrick, and Skipper John Williamson are joint owners of the 23-metre vessel, built in 1993. The sale of the vessel, including licences and quota, marks another chapter in the ongoing process of younger crews taking over. Twenty-year-old Ramsay, from Ollaberry, who has already been at the fishing for the last five years, said the move felt like a “good opportunity to get into the industry”.> click to read < 12:19

Fuel Crisis: Fuel costs ‘jeopardising’ UK fishing fleet

Soaring fuel costs have now risen to a “level that jeopardises the viability of parts of the fleet” and could affect supply from UK fishing boats over the coming months, the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations has warned.The viability of the fleet was currently being supported by high fish prices, the industry body said this week. However, the sector was still in an “inherently unstable and fragile balance”, which could soon result in vessels being taken out of the water.  The four fishing federations representing England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland that make up the NFFO recently met with fisheries minister Victoria Prentis to warn about the fuel “crisis engulfing the fishing industry”, it said. > click to read < 08:46

Fishermen from across North East and Yorkshire in boat protest over mass shellfish deaths

Fishermen have held a protest on Teesside over the ongoing deaths of crabs and lobsters which they say is decimating their industry. Government scientists say natural algae in the water is responsible, but protestors want proof that recent dredging in the North Sea has not also had an impact in creating what they are calling a “dead zone”. Thirty fishing boats from Whitby, Redcar and Hartlepool sailed to South Gare to meet protestors on land to demonstrate about the continuing crisis. >click to read< 08:59

Isle of Man’s teenage fishing apprentice’s joy at UK award win

A Manx teenager is celebrating after being crowned Trainee Fisherman of the Year at a UK national ceremony. Isla Gale said she was “so happy” to receive the accolade at the Fishing News Awards in Aberdeen last week. Currently an apprentice on local vessel the Shannon Kimberly, she aims to be the island’s first female skipper. Isla was inspired to get into the industry after watching her father, who also works in the fishing industry, from a young age. >click to read< 12:38

Mysterious killer continues to wipe out North East sea life

Fishing has long been a key part of Teesside’s proud heritage, but locals fear their livelihoods could be wiped out due to a devastating destruction of sea life. “There’s something going into their system that’s killing them and it’s going up and down the coast and nobody is answering our questions,” says lifelong fisherman Paul Graves. “We’ve done this all our life; we know what’s happening and we know when it’s not right.” >click to read< 09:32

Ex-Hull fishermen tell Nigel Farage UK has ‘never won an argument over fishing’

Former Hull fishermen have revealed their frustration to Nigel Farage following Brexit. Under a post-Brexit trade deal, UK boats need licenses to fish in waters of EU member states, while EU countries also need similar licenses to fish in UK waters. Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously vowed to “do whatever is necessary” to protect UK fisheries when negotiating, but has since received backlash from the industry who feel let down by the deal. Ron Wilkinson, chairman of fishing charity Stand-Hull Heritage, sat alongside vice chairman Vic Wheeldon, and claimed that the UK “has never won an argument over fishing” as the pair’s anger over the Brexit deal was clear to see. >click to read< 10:50

Channel fishermen protest to ban supertrawlers, fly-shooters

Fishermen from the UK and France have met in the English Channel to protest against industrial fishing practices. Boats from Dover, Rye, Newhaven and Boulogne-sur-mer gathered in the Bassurelle Sandbank marine protected area. They called for politicians to ban supertrawlers and fly-shooting from protected Channel waters. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said vessels must follow UK sustainability rules. >click to read< 12:33

Rising fuel costs: British fishermen are being forced to tie up their boats

The rise has left fishermen struggling to cover their costs, with some reportedly resorting to leaving their boats in port. June Mummery, ex-MEP and founder of the Renaissance of the East Anglian Fisheries, tweeted: “Fisherman tying up, fuel so expensive, not worth going to sea.” Britain’s fishing industry has issued a number of warnings in recent months that the spike in fuel costs could force them to tie up their boats and have a devastating impact on the UK’s food supply. The Shetland Fishermen’s Association issued a plea for help in March warning that the war in Ukraine had seen the cost of marine diesel in the islands more than double compared to the previous year. >click to read< 08:05

British Fishermen Feared Pro-Brexit Campaigners Would Betray Them—and They Did

Few communities in the United Kingdom were as supportive of Brexit as fishermen. Politicians pushing for the country to leave the European Union capitalized on the widespread perception that EU regulators favored fishermen from the continent over those from the United Kingdom when allocating fishing quotas. They promised that post-Brexit, UK fishermen would have unfettered access to domestic waters. Perhaps unsurprisingly, an estimated 92 percent of the UK fishing community intended to vote for Brexit in 2016. >click to read< 09:32

One of Yorkshire’s last distant water fishermen, Charlie Waddy, retires after half a century at sea

The first mate of Hull’s Kirkella, Charlie, 63, the face of the fight to save what is the UK’s last distant water trawler, has retired, following his final trip fishing for cod off Svalbard. Kirkella’s precious haul, 650 tonnes of fillets, is now heading to fish and chips shops across the land. “It was absolutely atrocious, minus 20C, hurricane winds, icebergs,” said Charlie. Over the weekend hundreds of pals from the many trawlers he has served on – from Germany, Iceland and Denmark too – beat a path to Hull to celebrate the “final settling”. Video, photos, >click to read< 09:37

Kirkella: Take a behind the scenes tour of Hull’s last distant water fishing trawler as it returns to port – The vessel, which returned to port on April 2, is the city’s last distant water trawler, working the Arctic cod grounds and a reminder of better times for the Humber’s fishing industry. >click to read<

Online Event: Have your say on the fuel crisis!

This event will present an overview of the current fuel crisis from a number of perspectives and look to the future of fuel in the industry. Fuel prices are currently presenting a major challenge to the viability of the UK fishing fleet. The price of diesel and other fuels has risen considerably in recent months, meaning that many vessels are considering the feasibility of a range of strategies to remain profitable. The All Part Parliamentary Groupon Fishing event will present an overview of the current crisis from a number of perspectives, to include suggestions for how support from the government or other bodies could help the sector. >click to read and sign up to the event< 13:38

Scarborough crab boat owner backs call for gas to be extracted from North Sea

A Scarborough crab boat owner says gas in two fields off the North Yorkshire coast needs to be extracted to prevent the country being “dependent on everyone else”. The Resolution gas discovery was an early North Sea discovery made by Total in 1966 and extracted from North Sea of The Well Dressed Crab Company, said he could remember seeing its rig off the coast in the 1980s. Mr Roberts said: “It’s not only about fishing, the population is an interested party too. “I’m part of UK PLC and I want to know where gas is coming from. “There will be people opposed to it but they will be the same people who expect to go home and turn on the gas boilers and expect to put a pan of stew on the stove.” >click to read< 08:05

F/V Nicola Faith investigation complete almost a year after wreck was raised

The investigation into the sinking Nicola Faith fishing boat which claimed the lives of its crew is now complete almost one year after the vessel was found. Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were on board the vessel when it left Conwy Harbour on January 27, 2021. The wreckage was lifted from the seabed last May in a two day operation before being transported to a secure location for further investigation. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch are due to report their findings in a report to be published in the coming weeks. >click to read< 09:08

Big Brother is watching you. “we want to know who you are, where you are & what you have caught”

While we all appreciate the need to have accurate data there are ways in which the objective can be achieved without creating a world akin to the dystopian future foretold in the novel, 1984. When you hear the terms “Big Brother”, Room 101 or “Thought Police” did you know that both phrases come directly from George Orwell’s classic novel 1984? Orwell’s dark cautionary tale published in 1949 about the dangers of totalitarianism, government surveillance, and censorship left a profound mark on the English language, as Orwell introduced readers to new words and phrases to help him describe the anti-utopia of Oceania where the story is centred. Some may be moved indeed to describe the recent introduction of I-VMS, the intimate monitoring of the very smallest fishing vessels in the UK fleet, as ‘Orwellian’. >click to read<13:28

Rising fuel costs could lead to job losses in fishing fleet

Shetland’s fishing fleet faces tie-ups and job losses as vessels are crippled by rising fuel costs, according to the local fisherman’s association. The organisation said that due to the conflict in Ukraine the cost of marine diesel in the isles has more than doubled compared to this time last year, making fishing trips “uneconomical and local businesses unviable”. Over one month on from the start of hostilities in Ukraine, governments elsewhere have been grappling with global supply chain concerns – with food and energy security on consumers’ minds as prices begin to rise. “It’s almost a forgotten fact that fishing crews help to feed the nation,” said SFA chair James Anderson, who is the skipper of Alison Kay, LK57. >click to read< 09:43

Fishermen join forces to tackle North Sea cod quota ‘mismatch’

Skippers and other industry representatives from Shetland, Scotland, Denmark, Norway and England met in Copenhagen to discuss a “quota mismatch” they are facing at sea, Shetland Fishermen’s Association said today. Vessels are encountering more cod than current official assessments, the industry group said, adding the recent talks in Copenhagen  “painted a unanimous picture” of an abundant stock stretching across the whole North Sea and beyond. But quota for the species, a staple of fish suppers in many parts of the UK has been slashed by 70% in just three years. According to the SFA, this “poor science” leads to quota recommendations that bear no resemblance to the volume of fish in the sea. >click to read< 12:46

Yorkshire crab and lobster deaths: Government closes investigation for second time

The North Sea around the Tees Estuary has been affected by the issue as far south as Staithes and Whitby since last autumn, when large numbers of dead crustaceans washed up on beaches. An investigation was launched and after causes such as pollution, disease and undersea cable disturbance were ruled out, it was eventually announced that toxic algae was responsible. Yet fishermen are still reporting poor catches,,, >click to read< 11:29

Stop importing £200m worth of cod and haddock from Russia

£200m worth of Russian cod and haddock imports should be stopped and efforts redoubled to open up fishing grounds off Norway and Greenland to the UK’s last distant water trawler Kirkella. Sir Barney White-Spunner, retired British Army officer and chairman of the advisory board of UK Fisheries, which operates the trawler said money currently going to Russia “should be kept here at home, benefiting jobs and investment in the North East and not Putin’s Tsarist ambitions”. The Hull trawler has had to cut crew numbers in the past two years, reflecting her plummeting quotas, a result of unfavourable deals struck by the UK Government, operating as independent coastal state. >click to read< 08:03

Brighter Hope for fishermen as they take ownership of boat

Two young brothers and their friend have taken ownership of the Copious and renamed her Brighter Hope (LK98). Tom Robertson, 33, and Ross Robertson, 30, along with George Jamieson, 36, have acquired the 19m vessel. Brighter Hope is named after Mr Jamieson’s grandfather John James Fullerton’s 45ft boat Brighter Hope (LK 502), which was bought in the early 1950s. New skipper Tom Robertson said: “We hope to start fishing within the next two weeks after doing some upgrades and sorting the paperwork. >click to read< 14:43

Safety kit saves the life of a fisherman

What had started out as an ordinary working day for commercial fisherman Paul Reed turned into his worst nightmare when he went overboard from the >F/V Sidney Rose<, miles from land. But his decision to put on a lifejacket that morning, equipped with a locator beacon, likely saved his life. He’s been fishing for 38-years and has had just the one man overboard experience. But once is all it takes to never return to shore again. Paul activated his PLB,,, His skipper then raised the alarm with a Mayday, confirming to authorities that the alert they were searching for was, in fact, a man overboard. >click to read< 17:51

Tributes to Dorset’s sustainable fisherman David Sales who was honoured by the Queen

Tributes have been paid to a West Bay fisherman who was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to commercial fishing and the environment. David Sales spent 63 years in the fishing industry and worked to promote more sustainable practices, including policy to increase the minimum size of lobsters caught so that they could breed before capture. “Not long after introducing the regulation, we started catching berried female lobsters, a wonderful sight. At last, the lobster stock was being given a chance to recover.” Video, >click to read< 10:37