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Newlyn Harbour News

BBC Radio Cornwall Update 22/10/19


Listen to the interview:

Big news for the Newlyn Fish Market this morning…  Harbour Master Rob Parsons has the latest.

You can find the show here on Listen Again:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07pvwj4– Jump to 2:36:30. You will need a BBC account to listen


Alternatively, you can read the transcript below:


Let’s talk more about Newlyn now. We’ve had some big news today – it’s been confirmed that the Roche-based fishing business ‘Ocean Fish’ has taken a controlling interest in Cornwall’s best known trawler fleet ‘W Stevenson & Sons’. 

It’s also going to have a big impact on the Fish Market. Let’s get the thoughts now from Harbour Master Rob Parsons on our regular weekly update. Hello Rob…

Good morning how are you?


That’s big news isn’t it?

It is, it’s pretty big, and you know we’re really pleased. It’s been a long time coming. I think it’s great for the industry, it’s great for Newlyn because there’s so many concerns that we had, with any large sale of a company like that, especially if they own a large quota, we don’t want that to go out of area.

So to hear that it’s somebody from just up the road, people that we know, and that we like, it’s fantastic news for everyone.


And it will also have an impact on the Fish Market I believe in terms of the auctioning?

Absolutely, because WS & S are still our auctioneers, and obviously with a controlling share of that company there’s a large input into the way that’s going to be conducted.

So I can’t speak for Ocean Fish and what they want to do, but what we hope they will do is invest significantly into that market and the process, and the way that they conduct themselves.

Hopefully that will increase landings, hopefully it will increase prices slightly, but just bring it into the modern day. So it’s great news, it really is.


I’m not asking you to speculate, but just tell me how much was in the balance here? If this deal hadn’t been done with a local company, what could have been the worst case scenario?

I think some of that is probably a little bit unknown. But the concerns that we had was that if there was a company that owned so much quota, and is so integral to the community and to Cornwall and the fishing industry, and that goes out of area, then that’s bad, that’s excessively bad.

If you imagine if we sold to somebody else in France or Spain, or an Anglo-Spanish, Anglo-Franco company, then they wouldn’t want to have landed here, and that’s a huge impact for us, because the majority of landings will disappear, and that’s a staple income for Newlyn. We are a fishing port, and a fishing village, so that would have been critical.

I know a lot of the family, I know for a fact that the ones I do speak to are very passionate, and a lot of that was about keeping it in Cornwall, and I think that was their approach to it. So obviously I know money talks, but I think a lot of this was to do with [a] love of the industry and pride with keeping it here.

So to hear that it is another Cornish company, that’s well known to us, was great news. And also heartening because the concerns then go away, as it could have been catastrophic for a lot of people.


Well, it’s great news. What about other stuff going on in Newlyn Rob? What’s been happening over the last week?

Well it’s a bit chilly this morning, but it’s very beautiful. But the landings have been a little bit better than last week, so hopefully things are looking up.

We’ve had some hand-line caught squid this morning, which I’ve never heard of, but Lionel, you know Lionel who’s been here 5000 years, he’s telling me that it last happened in 1920 or something like that!

But it’s ticking over, we’ve got a few boats out now, so I’m hoping that over the next 7 – 10 days the landings will increase, and hopefully we’ll get some of the hake coming back to us as well, so things are looking up.


I did see a picture on social media that somebody got a 5 kilo octopus in one of their pots – that was a thing & a half!

Yes Benediction, I saw that on social media last night. Yes it’s handsome, probably better looking that the skipper… but I won’t say that to him!


Ha ha, I think you’re in trouble Rob!

Thank you very much. Take care; we’ll catch up with you next week.