At the invitation of West Cornwall MP, Cornwall Council Leader Adam Paynter travelled to Newlyn last week to find out more about the Cornish fishing industry and its plans for the future after the UK has exited Europe.
MP Derek Thomas and Mr Paynter held talks with Paul Trebilcock, chief executive of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation (CFPO), who stressed the value of the industry to the Cornish economy.
The talks built on Cornwall Council’s recently published ‘A Catalyst for Change – Brexit Report’ which looks at the implications that leaving Europe will have on the Cornish fisheries’ management, the industry’s markets and its funding.
Currently the value of fish landed in Cornish ports is in excess of £30 million and, when seafood processing is factored in, the combined value of fishing and fish processing is worth almost £100 million to the Cornish economy.
Mr Thomas said: “I was very pleased that Councillor Paynter was able to find time to come down to Newlyn to meet Paul Trebilcock, who represents more than 200 fishing boat owners in Cornwall.
“The industry is currently in a pretty healthy state and keen to grasp any new opportunity to establish a prosperous and sustainable Cornish fishing sector. Work is now underway on the new fish market in Newlyn which in itself shows there is considerable optimism and enthusiasm within the industry and the Cornish seafood brand is becoming ever more sought after all the time both in the UK and across the globe.
“However, no one is pretending it will be easy to guarantee that our fishing industry in Cornwall is able to catch the fish it wants in a sustainable way and is also able to sell their catches wherever it wants.
“I believe that our meeting will lead to an increased awareness at County Hall of the challenges facing the fishing industry and strengthen the links between the local authority and Cornish fishermen so that future strategy is formulated in a joined-up way which will benefit Cornwall as a whole.”