"current situation cannot be ignored" need for change plea from local fishermen
Ten well known local fishermen have publicised their feelings towards the ongoing management of Newlyn Harbour in a letter to the local weekly newspaper, 'The Cornishman'.
"The current situation cannot be ignored, Newlyn is poorly managed in comparison to other fishing ports in the South West and throughout the UK. This is illustrated by an increasing number of vessels landing their catches away from the Newlyn.
There is no market management to speak of, vessels movements and berthing appear haphazard and not solely dependent on the vessels' requirements, and the ongoing regeneration is surrounded by rumour and hearsay, not fact. Ultimately, it is the harbour commissioners who are responsible for this situation, but the Newlyn Fisheries Project Officer has not helped the situation with poor communication that has at times, contributed to the problems rather than attempting to move the situation forward.
That said, we do have to acknowledge some good things that the Commissioners have done recently. The new pontoons, landing davits and fridges on the market have been examples of attempts by the Commissioners to improve things for the fishing industry, but without improved management the overall benefits have not been what they might have. Despite perceptions, we believe there is a bright future for the fishing industry in Newlyn. However, this will require improvements in infrastructure (i.e. new market) and a new management regime that reflects the the fishing industry's needs. Where fishing ports are being run successfully there are generally independent organisations running the markets and other facilities for the benefit of the port concerned.
A future for the fishing industry is a future for Newlyn, as the two are inextricably linked, with the wider community benefits flowing from a buoyant fishing industry in Newlyn. It is time for the Commissioners to take this forward and pull Newlyn Harbour through this situation. Whether they feel able or competent to do so themselves, or whether they need to step aside and allow a more skilled team to guide Newlyn through this transition, is a matter for them to consider. They must remember that the future of Newlyn is at stake and make the right decision. There is no reason why Newlyn should not once again be England's premier port, but change must happen and it must happen now"
As if to re-inforce the point, this Saturday saw only two boats land in Newlyn (four other beamers were due) and both consigned their fish to Plymouth fish market by lorry - see pictures above. The future of the port needs all those concerned to talk this through - pretending there isn't a problem will not serve any groups interests for future generations to come.
Skipper Shaun Edwards (above) wrote to the local paper recently expressing his concern for the future - his fish were landed to a waiting bound for Plymouth Fish Market.'No smoking in the workplace' - that's one way round the new rules! Happy in his work and enjoying a smoke aboard the Sapphire. St George's beam in preparation for the end of her massive refit. Gear time on the Cornishman. Some of Stevo's shore staff getting some practice in for this year's Fish Festival box pushing race. Great smile Zac!, crew on the Nova Spero.