Tuesday, 12 May 2015

A fisherman says massive ships anchored in Mounts Bay have cost him £1,000 in ruined equipment in the last fortnight alone.

Jeremy Hosking, who operates out of Newlyn on his boat Nazarene, said the huge bulk carriers have decimated lobster and crab pots and ruined fishing grounds. Two years ago he lost more than £5,000 worth of equipment when a group of large ships anchored in the bay for weeks on end.

"This is an issue which I thought had gone away," he said. "Mount's Bay is a pristine fishing ground and the massive chains which these vessels have, weighing hundreds of tonnes, cause untold damage to the seabed when they move with the tide. "As fishermen we are still struggling to get back on our feet after the storms last year and I don't know what, if anything, is going to be done to resolve the situation this time around. "There are so many layers of bureaucracy and legislation that it could take years of lobbying but we have to do something."

At the time of the article there were four tankers in Mounts Bay, two of them from Hong Kong and two registered to Liberia, with a gross weight of around 90,000 tonnes and almost 300 metres in length. Mr Hosking is convinced they are there to avoid port charges in Falmouth.

"Mount's Bay is not a safe anchorage as the prevailing wind is from the south west and if a storm does get up and something happens, a vessel could be blown onshore. "These vessels need to be anchored in an area which can be considered safe."

Sam Davis, chief officer of the Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, said she would raise the matter with the Marine Management Organisation and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

"This is an area of concern with the fishermen," she said. Paul Trebilcock, chief executive of the Cornish Fish Producers' Organisation, said that the increasing number of vessels anchoring in the bay was "of great concern" and called for "urgent talks" to resolve the situation.

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