New film depicts value of Welsh fishermen

Lobster pot ‘Meet the Fishermen’ aims to present a candid account of the lives of Welsh fishermen. Credit: Food and Drink Wales

A new film showing the true-life experiences of Welsh fishermen explores their contribution to the Welsh seafood economy - past and present.

Commissioned by the Welsh Seafood Cluster programme, ‘Meet the Fishermen’ introduces a handful of Welsh fishermen and aims to present a candid account, from the fishermen’s perspective, of an industry and way of life which many feel is under pressure.

“The film is an introduction to the lives of Welsh fishermen,” said Carol Evans of the Welsh Fisherman’s Association, which is currently running an awareness campaign entitled ‘Sea Our Future – Support Welsh Fishermen’.

“If our small scale, mainly inshore, fishing fleet is to survive we must together try to re-introduce our fishing and aquaculture sectors to the general public appealing to them for support for what is after all one of Wales’ primary food producers restoring the general perception of the sea with fishing and food production.”

Real insight

Fishermen featured in the short film include Dean Parry from Aberystwyth, who said: “I fish for that one day a year when you leave the harbour at 7am in the morning, the sea is like glass and there is no better job.”

Parry’s family have been involved in the fishing industry for 150 years – as fishermen and fishmongers – but he fears he may be the last in that illustrious line.

Swansea-based whelk fisherman Nigel Sanders tells of the labour intensive and physically demanding nature of whelk fishing.

He talks about the challenges faced by fishing in the Bristol Channel – which has the second highest tidal range in the world - as well as those of the marketplace. However, he said: “Fishing is my life, and always has been.”

The film will be screened in Anglesey and Cardigan in February.

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