Paul said, “I saw probably 26 boats steaming the channel waiting for the Trevose box to open at midnight on Monday and there’s maybe thirty trawlers south of us now, from Belgium, Holland and France and other UK ports, I think we’re the only boats from North Devon out here.” (By the way all these boats are fishing legally, within the European common fisheries policy and outside the 12 mile offshore limit.) At 15 metres the two North Devon boats from S & P fish are also amongst the smallest, many of the trawlers out there with them are beam trawlers: anything from 24 to 40 metres in length. Paul added “it’s one of the best hauls I’ve had for thirty years. But with this crazy number of boats it could be game over, very quickly.” Meanwhile the Ray box, off the North Devon coast, set up voluntarily by North Devon fishermen to protect the spawning grounds and brood stock of various ray species is still closed.
Don’t worry Boat Stories is not going to get stuck into European fishing policy (we have six films to get on and make) but we are genuinely interested in any boat stories happening off the coast – and what it is like for local fishermen and fish.