1st June 2018

Sustainable Cornish Fishing

Cornish vessels were the first to take part in the Fisheries Science Partnership (FSP) programme in 2004 and as a result have improved scientific knowledge on stocks of fresh fish including local Hake, Cod, Sole and Monkfish.

In 2002, plans were introduced to help re-build Hake and Dover Sole stocks. These have been highly effective, increasing stocks by 50% and 30% respectively through fleet reductions and effort restrictions.

The Trevose Box is a 3,600 square mile area off the North Cornish Coast that protects spawning fish for three months by means of a total fishing ban. It was proposed by Cornish fishermen and is the largest closure of its type in Europe.

Since 2009, fishermen in Brixham, Plymouth and Looe have fitted square mesh panels to their nets allowing small fish and non-target species to escape. The results have been staggering with an average reduction in discards of 60%. As a result, the project has been recognised by the EU Fisheries Commissioner as an example of best practice in Europe.

Fishing has become increasingly technical and more efficient over the years and there are various methods in which fishermen gather their catch. Here’s a quick guide to the main methods of fishing used by the Cornish fleet from our friends and sustainable fish suppliers Matthews Stevens Cornish Fish.