Wednesday, 18 March 2020

COVID19 - Latest CFPO update on fish landings.

A message from Paul Trebilcock at the Cornwall Fish Producers Organisation:

With ongoing concerns from fishermen across the region about Covid-19, the CFPO has again liaised with SWFPO and Interfish FPO along with local markets (Newlyn, Plymouth and Brixham) about the ongoing challenges of selling fish. There is a great deal of uncertainty at the moment and in reality that uncertainty is likely to continue.

Market demand has fallen across the board with demand and price for fish and shellfish, in particular, whitefish. Shellfish merchants (crab & lobster) have almost entirely ceased taking any shellfish. Some prime fish including dover sole is currently holding in terms of price but this should not be seen as assured or long term.

There are worries about what species might be most vulnerable to major demand and/or price drop but again at this stage it was felt that emphasis should be on lower volumes and higher quality as a general approach.

Shorter trips are considered to be a sensible approach rather than risking higher volumes from longer trips that may be more difficult to sell -obviously where possible/practical.

Please speak to your respective market/auctioneer/buyer about what you are catching and when you are intending to land to ensure they can spread landings. Market stability is more likely to be secured from shorter trips and staggered landings.

We are going to keep in close liaison with other SW POs and markets on an ongoing basis and will endeavour to keep you informed as more information emerges.

Discussions have begun with DEFRA (through NFFO and UKAFPO jointly, as well as by individual POs) regarding a support package for fishermen but this is in early stages and almost certainly won’t be a quick fix.

Given the poor start to the year, weather-wise, many parts of the fleet are entering this crisis with very little resilience/money in the bank, therefore measure must be genuine and include both real money and regulatory considerations.

We will do everything we can to support you during this worrying period. We will be bringing you a Fathom podcast very soon with advice and guidance on direct selling and updates from Defra on financial support for fishermen.

We are also working with our Seafood Cornwall initiative to help keep up the demand for fish and shellfish in Cornwall and support local fishermen and fishing communities. We want to connect customers who are in isolation to fish merchants with the capacity to deliver freshly caught fish. If you are a fish merchant who would like to be connected to more customers please get in touch now using

If you are a customer who would like fresh Cornish fish delivered to your door, please email Thank you.

Paul Trebilcock