Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Saved by the sardines - a less than fishy #FishyFriday!


After a week of gales and strong winds heavy skies still hang over Newlyn and there are still boats between trips tied up, three Rowse crabbers...



half a dozen beam trawlers are yet to sail...


though throughout most of the week the sardine fleet have been able to put in quick trips taking advantage of the prevailing offshore wind including the Vesta who, until December was fishing away up in Fowey...


with a heavy swell in the bay taking a haul of 16-17 tons reduces any risks...


fish are brailed from her three seawater tanks, chilled with ice...


dropped into 400kg insulated tubs...


where more seawater and ice are added...



earlier in the week we were treated to episode 2 of This Fishing Life on BBC2 which focused entirely on the sardine fleet and the Cornish Sardine Management Association's trials and tribulations as they struggled with a reduced TAC imposed on them by the MSC...



though according to the Mayflower's skipper Pete Buckland, with a wry smile on his face, it's as much about the size of your gonads...



which, like the size of the fish marks on your sonar, as big as they are, if you haven't got them, you won't catch them...


as the port's youngest skipper James Roberts was finding out the hard way at the start of his first season as skipper of Ocean Fish's smallest boat in the fleet, the Resolute...


with many nights spent staring intently at the sonar screen and ever more elusive shoals of sardines...



eventually, after much perseverance and little to show for his efforts in the bank, him and his crew eventually began to get to grips with the ancient art of ring-netting...


and by the end of the season was making decent hauls of sardines...



and even anchovies. So far the series has brought into people's living rooms the reality of operating and lives of those fishing in Cornwall and just what it takes to make a living sufficient to keep the boat at sea and a roof over the family's heads. Particular credit must go to the camera work which has really given viewers the chance to feel as though they were in the wheelhouse anxiously staring at the fish-finding screens or amongst the gannets wheeling high over the boats as they shoot their nets. Roll on the episode 3!