‘This is the biggest blow I’ve ever had, in all my years of fishing’.
It’s our last episode for a few months, and it’s a big one. We head to the quayside - through the ‘new normal’ medium of Zoom, Whatsapp and good old fashioned telephone calls - to talk to fishermen about their feelings and thoughts, following the disappointing (to say the least) UK/EU Agreement.
With all the politically-charged articles and press releases flying around, it’s easy to miss the real lives, livelihoods and communities behind the headlines. Enter Fathom: a place where these on-the-ground voices are heard. We hear from young and old, new and experienced, inshore and offshore fishermen, who share heartfelt accounts of the Brexit deal.
First, we hear from Brackan, a young Cornish fisherman working on an inshore trawler. Talking of the Government’s failure to stop EU vessels from accessing the UK’s territorial waters (6-12 miles), he says, ‘everyone in the fishing industry is pushing toward sustainability, and the government had a golden opportunity to give sustainability and the future of inshore fisheries a massive boost… but they’ve given it away. They failed to deliver.’
Moving our way around the coast, we then chat to experienced skipper-owner of the ‘The Guiding Light’ Andy Giles, from Looe. Again, he shares his anger as UK fishing became the ‘poster boy of the Brexit campaign’, only to be ‘sold down the river.’ We also travel outside of the South-west, to get the views of fisherman Graham Doswell of the under-10m fleet over in Eastbourne, who talks to us with a heavy heart, as the opportunity to level out quota allocations and support the u10m fleet has been missed.
Tune in to hear these stories and more, from Scottish fisherman John Clark, owner of an offshore trawler, to inshore fisherman and CFPO Youth Board member, James Roberts.
We know of the anger, but what of the hope, if any? We ask the guys if we can dust ourselves off and find a light at the end of the tunnel, and finish with a conversation with CEO Paul Trebilcock about his hopes and expectations of 2021.