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Newlyn Pier & Harbour Commissioners’ Update – January 2024

Newlyn Pier & Harbour Commissioners’ Update – January 2024

Following the monthly Board Meeting of Newlyn Pier & Harbour Commissioners (NP&HC), here is an update on the latest developments at the Port.

NP&HC’s Chairman, Rob Wing and Harbour Master & CEO, Jonathan Poynter had been pleased to attend the Cornish Fish Producers’ Organisation’s (CFPO) presentation of the long-awaited economic survey of fishing in Cornwall – The True Value of Cornish Seafood report.

Analysis undertaken for this report suggests that in 2021, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly seafood sector provided direct Gross Value Added Output (GVA) of approximately £130 million and supported 6,600 direct jobs.

When upward supply chain and induced effects are considered, such as the impact that occurs from all direct and indirect workers spending their wages on final goods and services, GVA rises to £174 million and supports 7,800 direct and indirect jobs.

“We fully support the CFPO’s report that celebrates the significance of fishing, especially in Newlyn and West Cornwall,” comments NP&HC Chairman, Rob Wing. “It is an outstanding piece of work that leaves us in no doubt as to the importance of the seafood sector to Cornwall and provides a solid foundation for the development of Newlyn Harbour as the principal fishing port in the county.”

Whilst the Commissioners are committed to supporting the fishing industry as far as they can within the constraints of Newlyn Harbour’s existing estate, they acknowledge that demand for car parking spaces far outstrips supply. To that end, NP&HC is working towards securing funding from Penzance Town Council to assess the feasibility of building an additional car park in Newlyn.

“Like all historic ports with limited space and ageing infrastructure, we need to continually invest and develop to ensure that we are able to support livelihoods and remain relevant in the future,” adds Rob Wing. “That is why we recognise and fully appreciate UK Government investment through the Town Deal Fund for Newlyn, in the form of our new Marine Skills & Resource Centre and for the transformation of Penzance Harbour, which has recently been announced.”

At this month’s Board Meeting, the Commissioners also recognised the adverse impact on Newlyn’s inshore fishing community of the recent decision by The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to reduce the fishing quota of pollack to zero in order to preserve stocks.

“This policy is already affecting our Under 10m vessels and the ability of their crews to earn a living,” said Harbour Master & CEO, Jonathan Poynter. “If anyone is struggling financially as a result of this change in quota, it is important that they get in touch with us as soon as practicable.

“By way of an operational update, whilst winter maintenance tasks have been limited by poor weather, we have undertaken pothole and ladder repairs outside as well as electrical work and escape door repairs in the Fish Market, where refrigeration units have also been serviced.

“We are aware of an increase in rodent activity in the rock armour revetment that controls erosion by the RNLI station and nearby pontoon access ramp, and are working with our pest control contractor to address the issue.”