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Newlyn Harbour News

BBC Radio Cornwall Update 08/10/19


Listen to the interview:

After not being available to talk last week, Harbour Master Rob Parsons is back to discuss what’s been happening at the Harbour.

You can find the show here on Listen Again:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07p2pwz – Jump to 2:36:20. You will need a BBC account to listen


Alternatively, you can find the transcript below:

Good morning Rob – now we’ve had some interesting weather haven’t we? How’s it all been fairing for you in Newlyn?

Today it’s beautiful! It really is, but the weather, unfortunately, has been the main theme for us, and it’s impacted as ever on landings over the last week or so. We had a huge tide as well, which limited landings, especially for the gillnetters, so landings were low.

And obviously we had hurricane lorenzo, or the tail end of that come through. Also looking at the synoptic charts, the weather charts over the last couple of weeks, the effects show that in the Atlantic, the swell was very limiting for a lot of guys.

Chatting to the boys a lot of them are saying we just simply haven’t been able to get out, so it’s been slim pickings. Yesterday we picked up a little bit and we had about 8 to 10 tonnes on monday, which is way down, we’re normally around the 80 to 90 tonne on a Monday and a Friday. So it’s been a bit slow, and I’m hoping the tide will turn and things will pick up slightly.


We were talking to Mark in Looe yesterday, and he was saying we’re seeing a slight change in the season with the species being landed?

Yes, I would agree with that. Speaking to a lot of the small vessels in the harbour, the under 10’s a lot of those have gone up to Falmouth to catch mackerel this year, as it hasn’t really turned up here at all. And a lot of them will work out of St Ives as well, we get a lot of fish from St Ives, we’ve had some northerly winds as well, so some of those boys haven’t been able to fish. So yes I would agree with that, definitely what we’re seeing.


We were talking to George Eustace earlier, who’s confirmed there’s been a 7 fold increase in monitoring and enforcement by the marine management organisation as we head towards brexit. What are you seeing on the ground in terms of ramping up for brexit?

It’s a tough one for me, because I’m very much in the middle. Even though we are a trust port, and ultimately we work for the crown, you know my job here is to help and to nurture and to try and encourage the fishermen, and help them where best we can, however we always have to comply with all the agencies; the maritime and coastguard agencies, and the MMO.

So it’s really hard for me, because I see some of the smaller guys who struggle, and do feel that the enforcement side of things is killing their business. And I also see that the MMO can only enforce what they’re told to enforce.

I’m very lucky down here because I’ve got a local team who I get on very well with, they’re very approachable, so we’re working together, that’s the only way we can resolve these issues.

Hopefully we can go to the top and try and work out where it can be improved, if it can be improved at all, but make sure that the industry is sustainable, and that we’re not overdoing it to stop people fishing. But then again, the MMO have a job to do, so it’s a balancing act and it’s a very sensitive subject at times.


I can imagine it is. Anything we should be aware of for the week ahead?

I’ve got the slipway, and it’s going to be busy. But you know when you get the boiler breaks and you get the boiler guy in and you’re worried it’s going to cost you a fortune? Fortunately for us, we had an assessment of our slipway, and I thought it was going to be very expensive, I though the concrete was going to have lost all its density, as it’s very old. But she’s passed, and all we need to do is to change the rails.

So hopefully, for a small cost we can keep that facility going for the west country for some years to come. I’m going to be doing a bit more slipway this week, so keep an eye out for that.


Brilliant Rob, lovely to talk to you.