Cornish family that has been fishing for 300 years put their boat up for sale due to catch limits

  • Daniel Hunkin whose family has been fishing for 200 years explains why he is selling his boat.

A family that has been fishing off the coast of Cornwall for 300 years are selling their boat, warning new quota restrictions could leave others facing financial ruin.

Daniel Hunkin is the 14th generation of his family to fish the Cornish seas. But he says that proud legacy could be coming to the end of the line.

Last month the Government announced a zero quota limit for pollack - a fish which Daniel's crew caught around £200,000 worth of last year."We're just absolutely devastated and disgusted by the way the Government have gone about gone about it really," he said.

"They told us with ten days' notice, after we invested thousands of thousands of pounds gearing ourself up for this winter, that we can no longer do it."

The Hunkin family have been fishing for 300 years. Credit: Daniel Hunkin

The Government says the catch limit has been set so low in order to replenish the seas. Environmental groups claim the UK has been overfishing certain species.Daniel wants to help fight the decision - but for now he's decided the time has come to sell the family boat."It's all we've ever worked for all our life," he said. "It's a very proud thing to be part of. And it's absolutely devastating that we've had to put it up for sale, just to get some money together to seek some legal action against the Government."

Defra says it is “speaking to the fishing industry in the South West to explore potential mitigations.' Credit: ITV News

The Cornish Fish Producers' Association is urging the Government to think again, warning that keeping the limit at zero could jeopardise the long term future of the entire industry.

Chief executive Chris Ranford previously told ITV News: "This is going to be very challenging for businesses. It affects the very small inshore hook and line boats that you see dotted all around the county, right through to some of our bigger offshore boats that catch pollack throughout the year.

"If they are in a position where they can't catch any, or they certainly can't target any, we really need to understand how we're going to support those businesses."

A Defra spokesperson said: “We recently concluded annual negotiations with the EU, including an agreement that pollack can only be caught as by-catch in 2024.

"This is consistent with our previous approach when the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea has advised that certain stocks should not be caught.

“We fully recognise the impact this may have on sections of the UK fleet and we are speaking to the fishing industry in the South West to explore potential mitigations.”