A family that has been fishing off the coast of Britain for 300 years is forced to leave the industry due to new government regulations

A family that has been fishing off the coast of Britain for 300 years is forced to leave the industry due to new government regulations

  • New Defra regulations set the fishing quota for pollack, the fish the Honken family relied on for half their income, to zero



A family that has been fishing off the coast of Britain for 14 generations has been forced to leave the industry due to new government regulations.

The Honken family, from Mevagissey, Cornwall, have been hunting for nearly 300 years since the time of King George I.

Daniel Honken said the crew relied on pollack – a fish closely related to cod – for more than half their annual income.

But on January 1 – after giving the industry just 10 days’ notice – the government set the pollack catch quota to zero except for a small allowance for bycatch in order to conserve stocks, forcing the Honkens and others to sell their boats.

The Honken family, from Mevagissey, Cornwall, have been hunting for nearly 300 years, dating back to the reign of King George I.
Pictured: A crew member with a freshly caught crab
But on January 1 – after giving the industry just 10 days’ notice – the government set the pollack catch quota to zero except for a small allowance for bycatch in order to conserve stocks, forcing the Honkens and others to sell their boats.
“We put our business up for sale, my brother put his business up for sale, and if you look…on the Internet, there are boats going left, right and centre,” Mr Honken said.

“We put our business up for sale, my brother put his business up for sale, and if you look…on the Internet, there are boats going left, right and centre,” Mr. Honken said.

He said new government regulations restricting pollock fishing have him concerned for the fishing industry as a whole.

Mr Honken welcomed his third daughter with his partner this week, but said it was “more stress because we don’t have any income coming in”.

He said new government regulations restricting pollock fishing have him concerned for the fishing industry as a whole
Mr Honken welcomed his third daughter with his partner this week, but said it was “more stress because we don’t have any income coming in”.
Pictured: Dan’s grandfather, Bernard Lees Honken, who was a Liberal Democrat county councilor in 2003
He said: Why don’t they say in five years we will do something? They keep talking, they’re good at talking. They say help is coming but the crew is leaving.’
Chris Ranford, chief executive of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation, said the change was hurting the industry
The changes were made by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

His father, John Honken, questioned why the government was leaving the industry with “10 days” notice.

He said: Why don’t they say in five years we will do something? They keep talking, they’re good at talking. They say help is coming but the crew leaves.

Chris Ranford, chief executive of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation, said the change was hurting the industry.

“Normally, we have up to 10 tons of pollack here, all good and ready to go,” he said.

“We strictly adhered to the rules they put in place for 10 years and now they say it has stopped.”

It said it recognized the impact the changes could have on parts of the UK fleet and said it was “talking to the south-west fishing industry to explore potential mitigations”.
“We recently concluded annual negotiations with the EU, including an agreement that pollack can only be caught as bycatch in 2024,” Defra added.
“This is consistent with our previous approach when the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea advised against fishing some stocks.”

The changes were made by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

It said it recognized the impact the changes could have on parts of the UK fleet, and said it was “talking to the south-west fishing industry to explore potential mitigations”.

“We recently concluded annual negotiations with the EU, including an agreement that pollack can only be caught as bycatch in 2024,” Defra added.

“This is consistent with our previous approach when the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea advised against fishing some stocks.”

(Tags for translation) Family

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