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  1. ITV Report

Corrosion threatens Salcombe crab industry

Corrosion on the estuary is putting the industry at risk Photo: ITV Westcountry

The crabbing industry in Salcombe is one of the regions success stories, fourty local families livelihoods depend on it.

Whilst most councils are strapped for cash - South Hams is going halves with the EU fisheries fund to shell out a total of £1.4million to revamp the fish quay.

Crabber Phil Cardew works at the Quay Credit: ITV Westcountry

It was built on reclaimed land and now the metal plating that surrounds it in the estuary has corroded so badly in parts, sea water is washing through and undermining the foundations.

The crabs are exported to regions as far as China - where they are a sought after delicacy. And its estimated the industry brings more than two million pounds a year.

Refurbishment to quay to begin later this year Credit: ITV Westcountry

One processor has set up on the quay and has several storage tanks that use water directly from the sea water estuary to keep the crabs fresh before they are sent off .

Most crabs are sent off elsewhere but some crabbers will now be selling some of their finest samples at local farmers markets over the Summer . The refurbishment will begin later this year.