QR barcodes bring ancient fishing tradition to your phone

Members of the public can now learn about the ancient tradition of lave net fishing – by scanning QR codes at a heritage fishery in South Wales.

The QR codes at Black Rock picnic site, near Chepstow, allow anybody with a smartphone or tablet to read how a small group of dedicated anglers is keeping alive a skill once widely used to catch fish in British estuaries.

The Black Rock fishery, close to the Second Severn Crossing, is the last in Wales to use lave nets.

Lave net fishingThe QR codes were produced by community-based information project HistoryPoints, which has placed QRs at hundreds of places of interest, known as HiPoints, around Wales.

The project, run by volunteers and sustained with small amounts of local business sponsorship, has linked together almost 200 QR sites around the Wales Coast Path to give visitors and local residents a unique insight into Wales’ coastal heritage.

Rhodri Clark, founder of HistoryPoints, said: “Our project was conceived as a way of allowing small non-profit groups and others to present information about their activities to the public at no cost, and in an exciting new way.

“The lave net fishery was a perfect example of a group doing valuable and largely unsung work to sustain an aspect of our heritage. By providing the QR codes and linking them to our Wales Coast Path tour, HistoryPoints is bringing extra attention to the fishery. This technology appeals especially to younger people, and we’ll rely on them to continue such traditions in the future.”

The project has received non-financial support from many local authorities and other property owners, and thanks are due to Monmouthshire County Council for allowing the QR codes to be displayed at Black Rock picnic site.

Martin Morgan, secretary of the Black Rock lave net fishery, said: “As our group of fishermen promote the lave net fishery as a tourism and heritage site, we are pleased to be associated with this new method of sourcing local information which is especially used by the younger element of visitors to the area.”

Other fishing-related HiPoints which can be discovered using QR codes on the spot include:

  • The fish pass at the Cardiff Bay barrage, reflecting the river Taff’s transformation from a polluted coalfield waterway to a salmon habitat
  • A commercial lobster boat in Conwy harbour converted from a lifeboat built in 1939
  • A 1910 Morecambe Bay prawner now under restoration at Conwy quay
  • A lobster hatchery which re-stocks the sea off Anglesey
  • A memorial to a Llandudno character who earned a living through fishing and tourist boat rides – his grandparents raised 15 children while living in a cave!

Why not see for yourself what the project’s all about? Visit www.historypoints.org if you’re not standing near one of the QR barcodes!

Lave net fishing