A way for commercial fishermen and recreational anglers to clear away differences and together help the growth of the Cornish economy was proposed at the week-end (18 March).
The peace overtures came at an anglers’ meeting at Chacewater to discuss the future of the Â£40 million Cornish sea angling industry.
â€œWe want to sit down round the table with the commercial sector with open minds and iron out our differences,â€ said Tony Newson, of the Cornish division of the National Federation of Sea Anglers (NFSA).
â€œI am sure 70 per cent of the disagreements can be solved and it will be a huge stride to benefit us all. Sea angling and commercial fishing are very different but are generally believed to be equally important in supporting employment in the county,â€ he said.
Richard Ferre explaining the conservation activity of the NFSA
Several commercial fishermen attended the Chacewater meeting together with dozens of anglers from across Cornwall. The consensus of the meeting was that both sectors depend on the common resource of fish stocks around the coast and deep down everyone knows that unless they are restored and protected, both sea angling and commercial fishing will wither away with serious job losses in both sectors.
Richard FerrÃ©, chairman of the NFSA’s conservation group, said differences which could not be solved should be referred to the regulatory bodies, in the first instance to the Cornwall sea fisheries committee. Discussions with the officials at the government’s environment department had clearly shown that they wanted the two sides to resolve their own differences as far as possible and would be willing to help on any outstanding points.
Part of the audience during the discussion session