Spreading the net - a world first for the fishing industry as Brixham Market goes digital

Brixham Fish Market's last traditional auction Credit: ITV News

England's biggest fish market is saying goodbye to hundreds of years of history...and introducing the world's first digital fish auction.

The last traditional auction will take place this afternoon (Monday, June 3rd) at Brixham Fish Market.

For hundreds of years bidding for fish by shouting out your offer has been how all transactions have been carried out in Brixham.

Tomorrow, Tuesday 4th June, will see the dawn of a new era as a digital system is introduced. The next day fish will be available to buy via the internet with a new cloud-based web auction system.

The new "Dutch Auction" system is "the first of its kind" to be introduced and will open up the net to catch a wider audience as it provides a platform for selling fish anywhere in the world.

The fishing port of Brixham has a fishing tradition dating back to the 14th century and is credited with being one of the birthplaces of trawling. It now holds the title of England's largest fish market by value of fish sold.

Local auctioneer Todd Crombie will be delivering his last auction today after sixteen years in the business and over twenty years at sea. Crombie told ITV News he will "miss greatly" the "hands on" experience of selling the fish. He said: "[It is] the end of an era. A lot of people have been down here a long, long time."

Barry Young, Managing Director of Brixham Trawler Agents, explained the reason behind the move.

Our producers, which are the fishermen, have asked us to offer their fish to a wider audience. We do think it will encourage a lot more fishermen to land their fish in this port which would give our buyers a lot more opportunity to buy a lot more fish.

Barry Young, Brixham Trawler Agents
From Tuesday 4th June the auction will be fully digital Credit: ITV News