Since 1908, Newlyn Harbour has been home to one of the largest fishing fleets in the country and is both economically and culturally important to the county of Cornwall. With approximately 700 vessels, 1,200 fishermen and 49 landing stations, fresh fish landings currently account for around £20m per annum.
The fishing vessels huddled in the harbour include beam trawlers, long liners, crabbers and day boats that operate hand lines. They haul in a diverse range of fresh fish where up to 40 different species can be landed in one day.
The auctioning process
At around 4am the graders and sorters that display each catch for market ensure all fish are organised by size and species, ready for auction. Clustered around bright red boxes containing each graded fish species the auction begins and it’s a surprisingly quiet affair.
When large amounts of fish are landed prices go down but when there are fish shortages, a good price can be drawn. Shortages can be due to inclement weather conditions but other factors, such as seasonal variation, also can have impact.
Lifeblood of the industry
Carol Trewin cites in her book “Cornish Fishing and Seafood” (2006) that, “At least 750 jobs in Newly rely on a healthy fishing industry and boats landing fish to sell through the town’s fish auction five days a week”.
This number may have decreased over time; however, our business is no exception to the fact that Newlyn remains an important cornerstone of our livelihood as well as the wider industry.
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