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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

TV Fisherman to Send 'Tweets from the Deep' to Show Life at Sea

Fish lovers across the country are being asked to put their questions to TV's toughest fisherman as part of a new initiative to highlight the complex and dangerous nature of life at sea. Cornish fisherman and star of the BBC's Toughest Place to be a…Fisherman, Andy Giles, will be tweeting everything he does during a day's fishing at sea, as well as answering questions put to him through Twitter.

The initiative, dubbed 'Tweets from the Deep', will take place Wednesday, 14 August in order to celebrate National Fishing Month (19 July- 26 August) and raise awareness of the often dangerous daily tasks fishermen perform to put food on the nation's plate.

Andy, who has been a fisherman for more than 25 years and is the proud skipper of 15m trawler Guiding Light III, will be providing insight into his work life, which starts at 3am when he leaves his family home in Looe. He then has to travel to Brixham or Plymouth, depending where his boat lands, before heading up to 20 miles out to sea in search of lemon sole, haddock, monkfish or sea bass. With the expense of fuel, a single fishing trip can cost in the region of £600 and so sometimes Andy is not home until 9pm at night, as he has to ensure he catches enough fish to cover the cost of the trip.

On taking part in 'Tweets from the Deep', Andy said: "With the vast amount of rules and regulations governing our industry, often there are huge amounts of pressure on us to monitor and record our catch, especially toward the end of the month when we're running out of quota. 'Tweets from the Deep' is a great way to show people what life as a fisherman is really like and perhaps demonstrate some of the hurdles we have to jump through to put fish on their plates." The event is being organised by the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations (NFFO), which represents fishermen across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It wants to provide a glimpse into an often misunderstood and misconstrued industry.

Barrie Deas, Chief Executive of the NFFO, said: "Every day, fishermen are putting their lives at risk to provide food security for our island nation. Yet, often the image of these should-be-heroes is of trawler barons pillaging the seas for personal gain. We hope this event will go some way to showing the hardships fishermen undergo and reinstate them to where they belong, as heroes of the seas."

In 2012, Andy took part in the BBC documentary Toughest Place to be a…Fisherman where he travelled to the small fishing village Mania in Sierra Leone. There he was taught to fish out of a small, leaky canoe with a sail made of plastic bags and an umbrella, and with floats for fishing lines made of an old pair of flip flops.

To put your questions to Andy, tweet @NFFO_UK using the hashtag #FishTales.