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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

So just how much was the UK fishing industry subsidised? - look at Newlyn, England's top fishing port for the last 25 years or more...

Next time you read a piece of sensationalist NGO propoganda about over-fishing which appears to damn UK fishermen as maurauding pirates of the high seas raping our once bountiful fishing grounds - here are the facts:

  • In 25 years not 1 new built UK fishing boat has received any subsidies

  • In the last 20 years the UK fishing fleet has been cut by 67% 

  • In last 13 years of EFF subsidies Spain received 61%..

  • France received 24%..

  • Germany recieved 9%.. 

  • The UK did not even receive 1% in subsidies

For 'green' NGOs to give the public the impression all fishermen received massive handouts is wrong and it's about time they were taken to task on this (a big thank you to John Clarke/skipper of the Reliance)

For example, Newlyn, which for 25 years has been the most consistent fishing port in England, saw the following new boats over 15m built:

1969 - Rose of Sharon - 18m - actually built for the Stevens family of St Ives

1978 - Dew-Genen-Ny - 21m - actually a cancelled order bought by skipper/pwner Rober George

1981 - Girl Pat 111 - 23m - built for Tommy 'Bar' Thomas of Newlyn

2012 - Emma Louise - built for Rowse Fishing Ltd

2014 - ?????????? - 15m - being built for Rowse Fishing Ltd

That's all folks!

However, this has as much to do with an indifferent banking sector seemingly unable to develop any kind of real understanding of the industry. 

I would challenge Barclay's Bank of Penzance, which handled the accounts of the majority of the fleet including Europes largest privately owned fishing company, to name any of their managers who walked down the quay at any time to meet the people who created the weatlth of the port much less one who ever set foot aboard one of 'their' fishing boats!

Contrast that to Breton fishermen who enjoy the support of the giant French bank, Credite Maritime - staffed by peole who understand and are directly involved in the fishing industry.

In stark contrast, just two Breton skippers had four boats over 18m built for them in a 7 year period, two Bugaled Breizh and the Kas Dei and Hibernia!

All the more reason to commend and admire a number of owners and skipper/owners brave enought to commit to new builds of less than 15m with O% in subsidies! 

This list is far more impressive and includes:

1987 - Sowenna - 14m Netter built for Phil Mitchell

1989 - Intuition - 14m crabber built for Mike Rowse (now Rowse Fishing Ltd)

2001 - Silver Dawn 14m built for Anthony Hosking

2008 - Lyonesse - 12m ring netter built for Sam Lambourn