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New documentary about Cornwall fishing industry

New documentary about Cornwall fishing industry

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 5:06pm 7th January 2020. (Updated at 10:05am 8th January 2020)

Photos: BBC

A new documentary is airing on TV all about the fishing industry in Cornwall.

'Cornwall: This Fishing Life' is a six-part series on the BBC which starts on Tuesday 7th January.

The series synopsis reads: "The British fishing industry has been in decline for decades. As Brexit brings new hope, can a new generation of fishermen save their traditional way of life?"

The first episode will focus on Mevagissey, which currently has 74 working boats in the harbour. 

The following installments focus on things such as Cornish sardines, oysters in the Fal estuary and Newlyn harbour.

Cornwall: This Fishing Life

What happens in episode one?

The synopsis reads: "Whilst other fishing communities are feeling the pinch, Mevagissey on Cornwall's south coast bucks the trend, with 74 working boats in the harbour. 

"Protected from the prevailing winds, with fish stocks that are beginning to return, and with boats being handed down from father to son. Meva is blessed. 

"Fishing is in the blood here - for more than 250 years the men of Meva have followed their fathers to sea, eager to honour the family traditions.  Now the next generation of ambitious young skippers are ready to make a go of it.

"Jack West Jack fished with his Dad growing up, and the family have decided the time is right to invest in Jack. Having spent thousands on the Anne Louise the pressure's on to get out to sea and start earning some money.

Cornwall: This Fishing Life

"The Galwady Mor is owned by one of Mevagissey's most successful fishing families, The Blameys.
27 year old Chris is the 4th generation to go to sea. This year he will take over the responsibility of skippering the Galwady from his father, Peter.  The passing down of a lifetime's knowledge is priceless, but Chris knows he'll face different challenges to his dad. Whilst fish stocks are returning to Meva, there's not the abundance there once was.

"Mevagissey is a village built on fish. Pilchards in particular. Once, everyone was after them. Now tourism is the main industry. The village is dominated by second homes and holiday lets, and the place is all but empty in winter.

"One of the impacts has been on crew. With local housing pricing young men out, and a steady income - not something associated with fishing - needed to get a mortgage, there aren't the young men lining up on the quay any more. 

Cornwall: This Fishing Life

"Dave Warwick on the Valhalla is one of the skippers looking for crew, and has to take the risk of skippering his boat solo until he can find some.  He's limited to working the well-fished inshore waters until he can find men made of the right stuff. 

"Meanwhile Malcolm Saunders is winding down after a long career at sea. Malcolm grew up when fish stocks were plentiful and he got his fill - and made a lot of money. But with the toll a lifetime away at sea took on his family, he's not sure he made the right decisions, and wonders whether the next generation of skippers will learn from his mistakes."

Cornwall: This Fishing Life starts at 8pm on Tuesday 7th January on BBC2.

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