Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

It's only taken 26 years!

Newlyn has had a regular fish auction for over 500 years, ever since fish were caught in and around Mounts Bay...


originally, fish were laid out on the foreshore rowed in from the boats at anchor, a scene captured by Newlyn School artist Stanhope Forbes in this iconic scene...


much later fish were auctioned on the plinth in front of where the current harbour offices stand...


and eventually under a covered market built in the 1920s, when standing on boxes was obviously de-rigeur practice for buyers...


a scene often captured on canvas by local artist Bernard Evans...



and more recently by Henrietta Graham who will soon have six giant canvases adorning the road side of the fish market depicting a range of fishing industry scenes...




with the auctioneer surrounded by buyers bidding on individual boxes of fish which continues to this day - albeit in a much modernised and refrigerated environment.

That is all set to change on December the 8th 2020.

Twenty six years after a little-known Belgian company, Schelfout (now Aucxis) first gave a presentation to a small selection of Newlyn skippers and fish merchants, Newlyn will finally give way to tradition and connect to the 21st century and host a computer fish auction. The final 'shout' auction will be held on the 5th December at 6am.

The electronic market is being installed by a specialist auction company from Belgium called Aucxis. They also set up the markets in Brixham and Plymouth. 

To buy on the auction buyers will need to log onto a new website where two clock auctions will be run. The software is the same as that used by Brixham Fish Auction. Training will be provided for any buyers who need it in the week prior to the start. Separate invites will be sent out offering training.

Buyers will still be able to come to the market to view fish. Equally buyers will be able to participate in the auction from anywhere with internet access. 

As sales are completed through the auction, porters will place tickets on the bought boxes detailing indicating buyers.  A video conference meeting will allow any questions to be raised that relate to the new service.

For further information contact Stevensons in Newlyn: Tel 01736 362998.