Brixham MP Anthony goes fishing on fact-finding weekend

MP on board tawler

'Crewman' Anthony Mangnall - Credit: Submitted

Brixham MP Anthony Mangnall has been all at sea - and loved every  minute.

He spent a weekend on board a local boat to see for himself how Brixham trawler fishermen operate.

Anthony joined the crew of Waterdance’s Georgina of Ladram, a 35.25m beam-trawler built in 2019. After leaving Brixham and heading out beyond the 12-mile limit, the trawler cast its nets.

For the next 24 hours they trawled, drew in hauls, separated targeted fish from by-catch, then gutted and put their catch on ice. Under a routine of two hours on two hours off, Anthony worked alongside the trawler’s highly skilled crew.

In-between shifts, he took the opportunity to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing the fishing community.

Issues raised include finding local workers, which Anthony is hoping will be alleviated by the newly proposed fishing school that he has been working on with South Devon College.

Ongoing difficulties with French counterparts cast a shadow over recent progress made, but a new Fisheries Committee will provide the opportunity to discuss, debate and find solutions as part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

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Anthony was happy to support a recently Levelling Up Fund bid, which will make a huge difference in supporting fishing crews and further developing Brixham harbour. Anthony is also a strong advocate of localism, speaking of the need to supply more local fish to our domestic market.

After the trip he said: "It was a privilege to be invited to experience first-hand what it is like to work on one of the Brixham trawlers. Given that I spend such a considerable amount of time in Westminster speaking on fish-related matters, I felt it was important to enhance my knowledge and understanding of how the industry works. I did not know what to expect, but I can honestly say that my short time at sea gave me a newfound appreciation for the hard work and determination of our fishermen. I return to Westminster armed with better insight and understanding, and my own resolve to continue to speak up for the fishing sector."

He added: "Thanks to the Georgina of Ladram crew for welcoming me on board."