Top port Brixham Pic Alamy

Brixham lands port of the year crown

Torbay Weekly

Brixham is celebrating after being named Port of the Year.

The prestigious award has capped off a remarkable year at the port despite the pandemic and the challenges of Brexit.

In 2021, £43.6million worth of fish was auctioned by Brixham Trawler Agents at the port which is currently on course to hit this year’s target of £45 million.

BTA directors Adam Mudge and Neil Watson went to Aberdeen and to the Fishing News Awards for 2022.

Adam says: “We were delighted to accept the Fishing News Port of the Year Award for 2022 on behalf of Brixham. This is an incredible achievement for Brixham on the back of a record year, and acknowledgement for all that our staff do to service the fishing industry here in our amazing town.

“The evening was excellent – and it was fantastic to see all the very deserving winners accepting their awards.”

He added: “Managing to come through the Covid pandemic and continue to operate the fishmarket, preparing well and dealing with all Brexit had to offer, and beating the annual fish landings record in 2021 have been major achievements which we are all very proud of.

“All the staff have worked amazingly hard to make sure all these things have happened.”

The success of Brixham looks set to continue, with plans in place to extend the market and its adjoining facilities. The port also has aspirations to develop the harbour infrastructure.

More than 200 guests attended the gala presentation night at the Chester Hotel in Aberdeen for the Fishing News awards to celebrate the achievements of people, companies and organisations across the UK and Irish fishing industry. For the past two years the award have been staged virtually due to Covid.

Adam says: “We continue to receive fish from all around the South Coast as the fleet of Under 10 metre boats start their busy season fishing for sole and bass. Boats from Swansea are also sending their fish to Brixham and the hake boats primarily fishing out of Newlyn continue to send their fish to Brixham to be sold. Hake is plentiful and a wonderful alternative to cod. If you have the chance to try hake it comes highly recommended!

“Despite this being the traditionally quieter period fish prices have remained very strong and we have been very busy, despite having about eight larger fishing boats going through their annual refits. There are some really good prices for sole, plaice, brill, squid and octopus which are negating the lack of cuttle fish now that it is not in season.

“The good prices mean that this slightly negates the increase in the fuel price. The fuel price (red gas oil) has doubled since December 2021. Larger beamers can take 28,000 litres which now has doubled in price. Many boats, large and small, are struggling with the price of fuel and considering whether the fuel bill can be covered before leaving the quayside.”