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Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Groupement les Mousquetaires is closely following the negotiations on fishing in British waters

Yet more evidence in the French media as to the potential impact Brexit negotiations will have on their industry:

Given that around 70% of the Scapêche catches are made in British waters, the sea sector of the Groupement les Mousquetaires is closely following the negotiations on fishing with the United Kingdom. What activities will be affected by the next decisions?

Focus on the activities of the sea sector:

According to Sylvain Pruvost, President of Scapêche, the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union will certainly influence the sea sector of the Musketeers. This is why the industry has been on the alert since the end of January regarding the decisions that will be taken in the context of Brexit.

La Scapêche represents the first fresh fishing owner in France with 16,000 tonnes of fish per year. La Scapêche has 23 ships, 250 sailors and officers, and 50 employees ashore.

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Scapeche artisanal trawler Alya, visiting Newlyn 

Co-owner of 7 artisanal trawlers, it participates in the presence of the French flag on French and European waters. Thanks to it, Agromousquetaires has a direct supply of marine products.

As for Captain Houat's teams, representing 650 people (Boulogne-sur-Mer and Lanester), they prepare and process 22,000 tonnes of fresh fish, shrimp, shellfish and crustaceans each year.

The two Captain Cook units (Finistère) will be less directly influenced by Brexit.

Thanks to the distribution bases (Lorient, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Bordeaux-Bègles and Frontignan), fish and seafood products are displayed in the tide departments of 1,800 Intermarché stores and 300 Netto France. These bases ensure the control, management, traceability and delivery of approximately 36,500 tonnes per year of marine products.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Fish a-plenty on Monday morning's market this morning!

With the real Brexit negotiations due to start on the 25th February when the EU declare their hand, local MP Derek Thomas discuss the price of fish with CFPO chair Paul Trebilcock on the market this morning...

the Cornishman was one of three beam trawlers that managed short trips between bouts of string winds and heavy seas so that merchants this morning were able to bid on over soles...


lemons from the James RH...

freshness guaranteed this morning as the boats were only at sea for a few hauls...

which meant that interest from the buyers was high...

for big flats..

like these brill...

the Twilight III was the third member of the hardy trio with a few boxes of Dovers...

to go with the monk tails...


and cuttlefish from the others...

precious few discards were landed...

and these were the sum total of mackerel landed this morning making an eye-watering price reflecting the scarcity of fish throughout the UK following over a week of constantly high winds in all sea areas...

which is set to continue with just a slight break in the weather for Tuesday and Wednesday before the next bout of strong winds comes in from the west.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Newlyn fleet port-bound, Penlee lifeboat exercise.

Most of the fleet in Newlyn have been in port since last weekend. However, tomorrow morning's market will have fish from three beam trawlers, James RH, Twilight III and the Cornishman.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Happy Valentines day Newlyn - Crystal Sea sails in!

After leaving Macduff shipyard on Monday and making two stopovers at North Shields and then Brixham to avoid storm force 10 winds...

the brand new Crystal Sea arrived in Newlyn at first light this morning...

quite a Valentines' Day gift for the port! Congratulations to the Stevens family from St Ives who had the boat built. Full story and pictures to follow.

Funding for PFDs with PLBs

Seafish is administering a new UK Government-funded scheme which allows owners of UK-registered commercial fishing vessels to recover £200 per item against the cost of purchasing type-approved Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) fitted with integrated Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) for their crew.

The scheme is being delivered in co-operation with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Trinity House as part of the Fishing Industry Safety Group’s 10-year strategy to eliminate preventable deaths in the UK fishing industry. It is open to owners of active UK registered commercial fishing vessels who have not previously received support for purchasing PLBs. (You can apply for the cost of adding a PLB if you previously received funding to purchase PFDs).
To qualify for funding, owners must apply to Seafish for approval before purchasing their preferred PFDs/PLBs. They need to provide a specification of the equipment they want to buy, a quote from their preferred supplier and an indication of the number of items required to equip all the crew on their vessel.
Please note:
  • The deadline for applications to be received is 31 March 2020.
  • Funding will not be awarded retrospectively so owners must complete the application form and receive authorisation before purchasing equipment to be eligible for reimbursement.
  • You must also include a product specification and quote from your preferred supplier along with your application form.
  • PFDs purchased must comply with minimum standards – see MGN 588 for details.
  • Seafish will check with the MCA and the relevant Fisheries Department to check and confirm the accuracy of the information provided in an application – including personal details, vessel ownership, licensing and that it is currently active.
Download a PFD/PLB funding application form here
(N.B. the above link will download a word document)
Completed application forms should be returned by email to: training@seafish.co.uk
On receipt of an application, Seafish will check the details provided and then write to the applicant to confirm eligibility and provide a claim form if your application is successful.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

What's all the fuss about the MMO's new CatchApp? All revealed on this morning's Farming Today on Radio4.

The innocuously named Catch App is a new smart phone app being introduced by the Marine Management Organisation - the Government body which regulates the seas around England. 

All skippers of England's 2100 fishing boats under ten metres long, are being asked to record the species and weight of fish they catch.

*According to the latest government figures for January 2020, there are 4,140 fishing vessels registered Under10m - of those, 2,237 are under7m.

The Government says the information will be used to monitor fish stocks and help make fishing sustainable for the future. But fishermen and women say the new recording is complicated and one small mistake could turn them into criminals.

With the MMO declining to put on a spokesperson to talk on behalf of them with regard to the CatchApp it is down to Jerry Percy, fisherman and chairman of NUTFA (New Under Ten Fishermans Association), an organisation created to support the Under10m fleet to explain why the app has sparked such a strong reaction.

Fishermen with experience of CatchApp can record their feelings here:

You can catch the entire Farming Today programme here:

Row over ‘greedy’ fishermen claim

FISHERMEN demanded an apology from Fisheries Minister George Eustice yesterday over an official document which described some small-scale operators as “greedy” and “rule beaters”.

The document was published last year in support of an unpopular new app which under 10-metre boat fishermen are being forced to use.

The fishing industry’s “Brexit bonus” could come too late for some smallscale fishermen, who fear they will be driven out of business by new rules imposed by the British government. Skippers of under 10-metre boats, which account for 80% of all UK vessels, are being forced to use a new app to estimate the weight of their catch.

A Marine Management Organisation document published last year said the new app was aimed at controlling some 500 fishermen described as “rule beaters who consistently seek to evade regulation” and “fishing for greed, not need”.

Fishing industry leaders are furious at the language used in the document, which was abruptly changed yesterday after questions from the

Western Morning News.

David Pessell, of Plymouth Trawler Agents, called on Fisheries Minister George Eustice to apologise for the language of his officials.

Jerry Percy, director of the New Under-10 Fishing Boats Association, said the MMO’s language was “utterly disgusting. For the MMO to set one fisher against another is appalling. It’s a very poor show.”

Speaking yesterday in a Westminster Hall debate Mr Eustice, the MP for Camborne and Redruth, defended the app, which he said would provide more reliable catch data.

Luke Pollard, the shadow Environment Secretary, has written to Theresa Villiers, the Environment Secretary, calling for an investigation and an apology.

THOUSANDS of small-scale fishermen fear they could be driven out of business before the UK fleet can enjoy its much-heralded “Brexit bonus”.

Skippers of more than 2,200 under 10 metre boats, which account for 80% of all UK vessels, are being forced to use a new app to estimate the weight of their catch. If they are out by more than 10% they risk a fine of up to £100,000.

And fishing industry leaders are furious at allegations that some those fishermen are “fishing for greed, not need”.

Around 500 under 10 metre boats, described by the Marine Management Organisation as “rule beaters who consistently seek to evade regulation”, are thought to be the main target of the new app.

In a document published last year, the MMO said some of the 500 vessels “choose to be under 10m vessel owners in order to avoid recording catch and will often chop off the front of their vessel to fit that vessel length. They are often unpopular with the rest of the fishing community (the term ‘fish for greed not for need’ is used nationwide).”

Others were part-timers with less sophisticated vessels, less active or sometimes inactive. Such vessels “can be used by fraudulent fishers to shelter ‘black fish,’ fish caught beyond a vessel’s quota”, the MMO said.

However, the MMO abruptly modified the document yesterday after questions from the WMN.

David Pessell of Plymouth Trawler Agents demanded an apology from George Eustice, the Fisheries Minister and Camborne and Redruth Conservative MP.

“It shows the contempt in which they hold the industry, even though publicly they say they are keen to work with us.”

He added: “They are demanding all this because they are after one or two fishermen who might by-pass the regular landing ports. I think that’s extremely rare.

Mr Pessell said older fishermen were considering tying up their vessels for good. “We know the MMO was told before they started this whole exercise that, for at least some, the new app could be the final straw.”

Jerry Percy, director of the New Under-10 Fishing Boats Association, said the MMO’s language was “utterly disgusting. For the MMO to set one fisher against another is appall

This is not an EU decision, this is a UK decision. You couldn’t make it up LUKE POLLARD

ing. We are all here to ensure that we have a sustainable fleet. They are dredging up any contentious issue they can to try to divide the fleet.”

The MMO did not address our questions about the anger of fishermen who saw the original document, and instead referred us to their official policy document on the catch app.

The app replaces a system where under 10m fishers landed their catch for sale, and it was the duty of the buying organisation to weigh, record and report the landing.

“It seems to gold plate existing legislation. They should have spoken to the likes of me. Instead they have spent £1.8 million developing this catch app,” Mr Percy said.

He said the MMO already got accurate catch data from the buyers. “It’s already the most dangerous job in the world. And they won’t be able to use the data because it’s an estimate.”

Shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard – who has previously called for the Catch App to be scrapped – accused ministers of introducing more stringent red tape than the EU ever had.

“At the very moment when we have left the EU and its real or imagined burdens, the government is implementing the biggest piece of red tape seen by the industry,” he said. “This is not an EU decision, this is a UK decision. You couldn’t make it up.”

Tom McCormack, chief executive of the MMO, said: “Fishermen who are recording catches to the best of their ability have no need to worry.

“If and when there is ever a need to consider enforcement or prosecution actions – for example, someone persistently misreporting or not recording at all – that decision would be taken on a wide range of evidence.”

Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), said he supported the push towards securing better information about catches so that quota could be handed out more fairly to smaller vessels post2020. He said he was willing to accept the MMO’s reassurances.

Speaking yesterday in a Westminster Hall debate, Fisheries minister George Eustice defended the app’s implementation.

“If we want to move to a more sophisticated way of managing the inshore fleet – maybe to give them quotas that run for several months, rather than just one month at a time, or to experiment with effort-based regimes – it is important that we have reliable data on catch.”

Studies by Cefas, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, have shown that there is a significant mismatch between what is recorded through sales notes and what is being caught and observed on vessels, Mr Eustice said. “We need to improve the quality of the data that we have.”

He added: “Our approach was designed at the request of the industry to make the process simpler.” However, Mr Percy said that he was not consulted.

Sheryll Murray, the Conservative MP for South East Cornwall, who led the debate, said: “It is essential that smaller UK vessels receive their fair share of the quota.

“They should be allowed to fish regardless of quota for a number of days a year, provided that they have enough days to ensure that their annual fishing pattern can continue throughout the whole year.

“I fully understand the intention of the new app.”

St Ives Conservative Derek Thomas told the debate, that fisheries had to be kept separate in trade negotiations with the EU.

“We hear from a few individual member states that they will exercise a veto, and so on; but not many of the 27 are that concerned about our waters. We should hold our position and not give in to any sort of nonsense from people in, say, France.”

Totnes Conservative Anthony Mangnall said: “In Salcombe and Dartmouth, we have a shellfish industry that is booming, which is looking at exports both within the European Union and further afield, and I hope to be able to support that.”

Western Morning News13 Feb 2020KEITH ROSSITER keith.rossiter@reachplc.com