On 15 and 16 June, fisheries minister Victoria Prentis visited Brixham to witness the work carried out by the local industry. Meeting with traders, processors and fishing industry representatives, she had the opportunity to discuss some of the issues facing the industry.
The fact-finding trip began with a virtual roundtable meeting attended by local industry, where issues discussed included the impact of Covid-19, changes to export requirements, the need for effective management of non-quota stocks, and the importance of international quota swaps.
On the Wednesday morning, Minister Prentis visited Brixham fishmarket. Later in the day, she met Devon and Severn IFCA, the MMO and the Fishermen’s Mission to discuss the management of local fisheries and fishermen’s welfare.
Victoria Prentis said: “It’s been a pleasure to visit this historic and vibrant fishing port and see first-hand the community’s contribution to the UK economy across fishing and seafood processing. I was delighted to hear of the opportunities and innovative ideas, and meet some real entrepreneurs.
“Brixham is an important part of Britain’s future as an independent coastal state, and with £100m of government funding earmarked for investment in the industry, we are committed to supporting fishermen and coastal communities to make the most of the new opportunities outside of the EU.”
Barry Young, managing director of Brixham Trawler Agents, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Minister Prentis to Brixham today. We’ve had the opportunity to showcase the diversity and quality of the fish and seafood caught, landed, sold and processed in the area and talk about the opportunities for the sector.”
Following a tour of the harbour and two fishing vessels, Victoria Prentis visited the Blue Seafood Company, which processes crab, to see its operation and discuss current trading conditions.
During the visit, the minister reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting the fishing industry to make the most of the opportunities that come from the UK’s departure from the Common Fisheries Policy.
This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here.