Last Thursday’s (6th August) edition of the Western Morning News had a centre spread entitled “One man’s love affair with old wooden boats.’
It featured historian Mike Smylie, whose book “Fishing Boats of Cornwall” has just been published by The History Press.
In the article he is quoted:
‘”For this book on Cornish fishing, I spent a lot of time in Newlyn talking to local fishermen and the people involved with the local fishing industry . . .
“Something which particularly saddens me is seeing boats being chopped up – there’s a photograph in the book of a perfectly good wooden fishing boat being demolished in Newlyn in 1998 with a JCB. This happened because of the European Union fishing policy which encouraged fisherman to take boats out of fishing and scrap them.”
In 1995, Mike co-founded the 40+ Fishing Boat Association to fight that policy and help preserve old, decommissioned fishing boats.’
I am ashamed to say I have not heard of this association up to now. However, those of you who have been following the For Love of a Boat series will know this is precisely my own view on what has happened as a result of the European policy. Captain George’s video shows a Greek fishing boat demolished in just the way mentioned above for exactly the same reason.
Looking at the 40+ website I have not discovered how to join the Association yet, but will pursue it and let you know how I get on. The link to the equivalent Greek website is here. (To translate into your own language, I find Babel Fish works reasonably well).
I have ordered Mr Smylie’s “Fishing the European Coast” and look forward to reading it. The Cornish book will come later.
In the meantime, I wish Mike Smylie well – and encourage him to keep up his good work.