Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Eastern Channel fly-shooter agreement reached.

An accord on the activities of fly-shooters in some English Channel waters comes into effect today, following an agreement having been reached between representatives of French, Dutch, Belgian and UK fishing sectors.

So far the agreement applies only to Eastern Channel waters, although the parties concerned have agreed to meet again not later than September to discuss further measures.

According to Dutch fishing industry federation Visned, reaching an agreement was a protracted process as views and principles vary between nations – eventually leading to a compromise agreement.

The new management measures come into effect on April the 19th for Area VIId.

Under the terms, France has 28 permits, Belgium has six, the Dutch fleet as 24 and the UK has 17, pending decisions yet to be made by the UK authorities.

Seine rope length is limited to 3200 metres and seine ropes may be a maximum of 55mm in diameter with a weight of 2kg/metre. The minimum allowable mesh size is 80mm.

Fly-shooting vessels are limited to a maximum of eight days at sea in each block of two weeks, the first of which commences on 19th April. Time at sea is to be calculated from logbook data, so each sea day starts at departure from port.

Dutch and Belgian fly-shooters are to remain outside the 9-mile line in VIId and outside the 12-mile line off the coast of Normandy.

Monday, 19 April 2021

Plenty of fish on Monday morning in Newlyn.

Looks like the Dutch fly-shooter didn't catch all the red mullet...

and Tom on the Harvest Reaper managed to scrape a few bass from the ocean over the weekend...

along with a single box of cuttles...

don't be fooled by the warm glow, it was a very chilly start to the day in Newlyn...

line caught pollack don't come any better than those caught...

by young Mr Smith on the Maverick

while skipper Tristan with the netter Silver Dawn brought home plenty of quality mixed fish...

to go with his shot of MSC Certified Cornish hake...

young Jeremy bound away on the Nazarene to pick up his pots and see how many lobsters have come his way over the weekend...

as ex-rugby star Richard Carrol makes ready to land his trip of brown crab and lobster...

further up the quay is the latest Waterdance boat to join the hake fleet...

the Amanda of Ladram II...

built by Parkol in Whitby...

sporting her 'environmentally friendly' Devonian and Cornish flag...

she has a much lower shooting hatch to reduce any chance of entangling sea birds when she shoots her nets...

the William of Ladram takes a break outside the local beam trawler St Georges that landed this morning.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

A new face at the helm of the SWFPO Ltd


South Western Fish Producer Organisation Ltd committee and members are pleased to announce the recruitment of a new Chief Executive Officer / Company Secretary who will work alongside Jim Portus as he counts down to retirement after over 30 years at the helm.

Juliette Hatchman brings to SWFPO her 17 years' experience working on various aspects of marine and fisheries policy areas from her previous roles in CEFAS, Defra, the MFA and most recently with Macduff Shellfish (Scotland) Ltd. Hers is an impressive CV that will be used to good effect as the industry copes with the Government's "green" agenda of environmentally and economically sustainable approaches to marine and fisheries management.

Juliette is already very well known and respected among industry and administration colleagues, and she will lose no time in rebuilding relationships to the benefit of SWFPO members.

Juliette will work with Jim as the Organisation and wider industry deal with the impacts of Brexit and with the lingering affects of Covid-19.

The industry is recovering from trade disruption and market dislocation, but both Juliette and Jim agree there is a bright future for the sectors represented by the SWFPO membership, including a major part of the UK (many are Scottish) scallop fishing fleet and independent beam trawler and trawler operators based in Channel and South Wales fishing ports. These are challenging yet exciting times to be embarking on a new career in fisheries, with the UK as an independent coastal state, wrestling with its own identity and those of the devolved nations.

Juliette can be contacted at or on mobile 07780505020

Jim will remain full-time at SWFPO until October this year, then will decline slowly into well-earned rest.

Friday, 16 April 2021

Have Your Say - The Future of Fisheries Management.


Join the Fishing into the Future to get insights and listen to what they say about the future of fisheries management in the UK

Fishing into the Future has resurfaced! As an industry-led charity, our work starts and ends in the wheelhouse, and we are so grateful to all of you who joined us last week to #castyourvoice so we can continue our mission of bringing fishermen, fisheries scientists, and regulators together. 

This wouldn't have been possible without the support from our Trustees (David Stevens, Adrian Bartlett, Peter Bruce, Jimmy Buchan, Michel Kaiser, Alexa Dayton, Steven Mackinson), as well as Eleanor at the Fishmongers Company and Lysanne at The Seafarers’ Charity for keeping the conversation flowing.

Gus Caslake, Independent Chair of the Cornish Sardine Management Association (CSMA) told us about the work of the CSMA to build better datasets and engage decision makers and external fleets to ensure fishery management meets international MSC - Marine Stewardship Council sustainability standards. 

 FITF Trustee Alan Steer, Vice-Chair of the South Devon & Channel Shellfishermen joined us at our "Have Your Say" event on April 1st to talk about the history of the Inshore Potting Agreement and bottom-up management initiatives in the area. Take a look here ➡ Did you catch Jim? 🎣 

Jim Evans - Chair of the Welsh Fishermen's Association - Cymdeithas Pysgotwyr Cymru (WFA) joined us on April 1st in a dialogue about co-management, and gave us an insight into some of the work being coordinated by the WFA to collaborate with scientists and obtain data for better management decisions.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

There is now a Credit Union available for all fishing families in the UK

The Seafarers’ Charity and Commsave Credit Union announce new financial support for fishing families A revolutionary new initiative funded by The Seafarers’ Charity will provide access to a range of affordable financial services for fishing families. The Fishing Without a Safety Net research commissioned by the Charity demonstrated that new interventions were needed to create a better financial safety net for fishing families. 

The first significant solution emerging from the research findings sees Commsave Credit Union open its services to the UK fishing community on 14 April 2021. Commsave Credit Union has been operating for nearly 30 years and has helped its 30,621 members to save over £86m. In January, the existing members agreed to support the UK’s fishing community by extending the Credit Union’s affordable financial services to all fishers, fish processors and fishmongers throughout the UK – in effect supporting the entire ‘catch to plate’ fishing community. Regulatory approval has been obtained and the Credit Union is now open to workers throughout the fishing industry.

The Seafarers’ Charity has awarded a grant to the Credit Union to support the development of the Credit Union’s new services for the fishing industry. They have worked closely to understand and respond to the financial needs of fishing communities. In addition to savings and loans accounts which are available to all members, the Credit Union has created financial products designed to suit the financial needs of fishers. These include:

  • A Stormy Reserve Fund – a savings account in which money can be set aside and accessed immediately at times when unable to earn an income from fishing.
  • A HMRC Budget & Bill Payment account – this savings account enables regular amounts to be set aside to pay the annual tax and National Insurance bill. At the end of the financial year the Credit Union can transfer the amount saved to HMRC.
  • A special loan scheme to support access to government grants that require an up-front capital contribution.

The Credit Union pays a competitive annual dividend on members’ savings and, for the current financial year, expects the return on members’ savings to be 1.5%. They also provide a free Bereavement Fund for all members. On death (from any cause) this Fund writes off any outstanding debt to the Credit Union. In addition, the Bereavement Fund can make a payment to a nominated beneficiary ranging from £500 to £5,000, dependent on the average savings balance of the member over the 12 months prior to death. For those who do not have life assurance, this will provide a welcome and free benefit with an expedited payment at the time it is most needed, as the payment is not subject to probate. 

Amanda Ivey, Chief Executive of Commsave Credit Union said, 'We are proud to be able to offer our services to those working in the fishing industry. We have worked with The Seafarers’ Charity to understand the needs that exist and how we can offer the right products to meet those needs. We have 30 years’ experience in enabling members to access the financial services they need, and we look forward to welcoming new members from fishing communities all over the UK.'

Catherine Spencer, CEO, The Seafarers’ Charity, said, 'Our partnership with Commsave Credit Union demonstrates our new approach to tackling need at source and preventing potential problems. Our research demonstrated that fishers experience a high incidence of priority debt problems which can have unfortunate consequences if left unpaid.

'This includes outstanding debts for tax and national insurance payments which have longer-term consequences when trying to access welfare benefits or a state pension, as well as impacting the ability to obtain a mortgage or a car loan. A lack of holiday pay and difficulty obtaining financial products providing protection for sickness, critical injury, and life assurance have also been identified within the research as areas of concern.

'In addition, some fishers find it difficult to establish and contribute to a personal pension plan, missing out on the tax efficiency and tax relief attached to this type of long-term saving. Government grants requiring an upfront financial contribution also created a barrier for those who did not have spare capital available and struggled to access a bank loan. We think this partnership is revolutionary and will provide a safety net and create financial resilience which will enable more fishing families to thrive.’

The Seafarers’ Charity grant funding to help Commsave Credit Union to support UK fishing families is the first pro-active, preventative initiative emerging from the Charity's new strategy ‘Thrive’ which aims to enhance the financial resilience of all seafarers. Other strategic outcomes within the strategy include funding support for better working lives, raised safety standards, improved health and wellbeing, and increasing social justice for seafarers.

​The fishing industry has faced unprecedented challenges with COVID-19 impacting sales to domestic and overseas hospitality, followed swiftly by the need to adjust to new export regulations arising from our trading relationship with Europe post Brexit. The Seafarers’ Charity’s research ‘Fishing Without a Safety Net’ revealed the precarious nature of reliance on a fishing income. It highlighted how economic necessity drives fishers out to sea even when seas are at their most dangerous. And that many fishing families lack a financial safety net to fall back on when the weather, illness or repairs prevent them from going to sea.

The Seafarers’ Charity (King George’s Fund for Seafarers) was previously known as Seafarers UK, it changed its name on 15 March 2021.

Further information about Commsave Credit Union is available at

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Ray Hilborn’s thoughts on Seaspiracy


Dr. Ray Hilborn is a world-renowned fishery scientist. He offers his thoughts on the Netflix Original, Seaspiracy below. Sustainable Fisheries UW is a project by the University of Washington to explain the science behind sustainably harvesting food from the sea.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Fisheries and Seafood Scheme Funding.


The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme will provide financial support for projects in England that secure sustainable growth across the catching, processing and aquaculture sectors, and that protect and enhance the marine environment.

Aims of the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme will provide financial assistance for projects that support sustainable growth in the catching, processing and aquaculture sectors, and enhance the marine environment. The scheme is available to applicants whose businesses and/or vessels are registered in England.

The scheme will provide funding for a range of projects that deliver the following seven strategic priorities:

  • promoting a sustainable sector for future generations
  • protecting the marine environment, by reducing the environmental impacts of the sector
  • delivering world class science and innovation
  • supporting coastal communities to promote economic growth and social inclusion supporting the reform of stock and quota management to ensure a balance between fishing opportunities and capacity
  • enhancing the value chain through marketing and processing, opening the potential for English businesses home and abroad 
  • developing industry infrastructure which is essential to supporting sustainable growth across the whole sector. 

Not all areas of the scheme will always be open for support. Some areas will be opened later and for a defined period, through a funding round.

Who can apply for funding? To be eligible for this scheme you must be one of the following:

  • An individual or business engaged within commercial/recreational sea fishing, aquaculture or processing 
  • A public body/local authority in a local community that has a focus on fishing/aquaculture activities (including trust ports and local authority ports, and public bodies, using funds for environmental improvements/management of fisheries) 
  • A university or research institute 
  • A new entrant to the industry or unemployed individual that could benefit from knowledge/skills in fishing/aquaculture activities. 

You will be required to declare if you have received funding from other Government financial support schemes and, if so, what for.

If you are a business, you will need to declare whether you fall into the category of micro-entities, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) or larger enterprises.

Who cannot apply for funding? You cannot apply for and receive funding if you have:

been convicted of fraud under any other fisheries scheme; been convicted of an offence that the MMO considers to be a ‘serious infringement ’ or fraud, in the 12 months before applying. Please read the Guidance on Inadmissibility and fraud here.

What activities the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme can support You must review the relevant guidance note for the project you are seeking funding for. These set out what you can and cannot apply for. The guidance notes cover:

General guidance

PDF, 359KB, 11 pages