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Bumper scallop season for Plymouth fish market

The South West’s fishing industry is enjoying one of the best King Scallop seasons for many years Credit: Plymouth Fisheries

The South West’s fishing industry is enjoying one of the best King Scallop seasons for many years according to Plymouth Fisheries.

The fresh fish market has reported a record number of visiting scallopers in recent months, as boats journey to the region to fish for scallops.

The King Scallop is the main stay of the UK fishing industry, and the South West is having an especially strong season, one of the best for years.

Over the years, this has proved to be a well-managed fishery and stocks remain healthy, so with no quotas on King Scallops, skippers can generally land as many as they like.

The larger,more powerful vessels are restricted to the number of days each year that they can fish for scallops, and there are various seasonal closed areas on the in shore grounds around the coast which prevent overfishing by the smaller boats.

– Pete Bromley, Manager of Plymouth Fisheries
King Explorer at Plymouth Fisheries Credit: Plymouth Fisheries

Seal fights anglers for fish

Dartmouth-based fishing charter firm, Outlaw got more than it bargained for last weekend when it took some regulars on a trip on the Mid-Channel Wrecks in search of winter pollock.

The seal would not let the fish escape without a fight Credit: Owen Mallia

Tim Smith from Dawlish hooked a fish but had to fight off a seal for his prize. The boat's owner describes what happened.

Tim had just retrieved the fish to mid-water when suddenly his rod dipped viciously right over the rail, he now appeared to have a real battle on his hands, slowly he gained on the fish until his pollock broke the surface some distance from the boat.

It was clear he had caught a pollock, but trailing right behind his catch was a beady pair of eyes and whiskers – a seal had decided to attack his fish on the way up and hung on to it right on to the bitter end.

Thankfully, only the fish was hooked and as he reeled in his pollock towards Outlaw, the seal stubbornly let go and disappeared back to the deep.

– Owen Mallia, Skipper, Outlaw
You can just see the muzzle of the hungry seal trying to stop the fishermen stealing his lunch Credit: Owen Mallia

The same thing happened to two more anglers - and so, when the seal surfaced again, the skipper handed him a pollock, which he took and disappeared for the rest of the day, leaving the fishermen to fish in peace.

Tim Smith from Dawlish - who battled a seal for his prize - will certainly dine out on this tale for years to come Credit: Owen Mallia


Fishing delegation from Dorset heads to US

Scallops are put in a pot on board the fishing boat Credit: ITV Westcountry

A pioneering partnership between fishermen and conservationists in Lyme Bay is sharing ideas with the Americans.

A delegation is heading to California next month. It includes scallop diver John Shuker as well as fishery managers and advisers.

They hope to learn how others protect stocks but maintain livelihoods.

Mother of lost fisherman makes safety plea

The mother of a fisherman who died in the Purbeck Isle tragedy off the coast of Dorset is urging all those at sea to wear lifejackets. Robert Prowse died when his Weymouth fishing vessel went to work two years ago, but never returned.

His body has never been found. Today a campaign has been started to encourage the 12,000 UK fishermen to think about their safety before setting out to sea. Francesca Carpenter reports.

Help for stranded fishermen in the West Country

The Fishermen's Mission has set up an appeal to raise money for beleaguered fishermen Credit: The Fishermen's Mission

The bad weather is affecting many who rely on the sea for their earnings. 4,000 fishermen across the country are losing money because they can't go out in the poor conditions.

An appeal's been set up by the Fishermen's Mission for those who've been unable to work for many weeks


Fishermen and conservationists build sustainable future

A partnership between fishermen and conservationists in the South West could become a model for sustainable fishing around the world. The Lyme Bay Fisheries & Conservation Reserve allows fishermen to decide the rules about what they'll catch and how they'll do it.

The aim is to preserve stocks and livelihoods in the future. Our environment correspondent Duncan Sleightholme reports.

Lyme Bay marine conservation project a success

A pioneering partnership between fishermen and conservationists in Lyme Bay is being hailed a success. The project gives fishermen a say in the management and regulation of the marine reserve.

They've drafted a voluntary code of conduct to protect their livelihoods and help preserve fish stocks. They're telling other interested groups about the project at a conference on Portland today.

Fisherman in Lyme Bay Credit: ITV News West Country
  1. Francesca Carpenter

Fishermen's wives record charity sea shanties medley

A group of fishermen's wives, including three from Cornwall, have spent the weekend recording a single in aid of the Fishermen's Mission, a charity that provides support to the industry and their families.

Inspired by the military wives' success, the ladies are hoping their medley of sea shanties and hymns will top the charts later this summer.

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