View Full Version : Lack of boats in Whitby Harbour

14th March 2008, 20:05
My husband and I took my mum to Whitby yesterday. OK, it was low tide when we got there, but I was rather alarmed to see only THREE boats in the harbour (pictures in gallery - help needed on the two un-named boats!)

When I was a little girl, back in the late 1950s/early 1960s the harbour was always full (particularly with Dutch boats). In fact, rumour had it that you could walk from one side of the harbour to the other across the decks of the boats moored up!

Is this a sign of the decline of the fishing industry? Or should I be more positive and hope that all the boats were at sea?

martin johns
14th March 2008, 23:25
I'm afraid it is the same story all over the UK Landlubber.
Here in Plymouth in the late seventies / early eighties the harbour was crammed with trawlers, most about 15m metres in length or over. Now there are only two boats of that length & a handful of under 10m boats.
Most of the harbour is now a marina for soul-less white yachts & gin-palaces & the bustling quayside is now all trendy cafes & open air wine bars.
It can only get worse as well with the cost of fuel making fishing un-viable & our apathetic government prepared to sit back & let the UK fishing industry die whilst our EU "partners" ignore any rules or quotas & also subsidise their industry in times of need.

14th March 2008, 23:41
The number of large vessels which are permanently based in Whitby is around nine - Emulate II, Excelsior, Christina, Defiant, Abbie Lee, Rebecca Elizabeth, Copious, Good Intent III and Independence which is away for a refit currently. On top of those you've got a few which mainly land away but are locally owned, and vessels from Scotland for the April to September prawn fishery at Silver Pit.
The best time to go is normally weekends as the largest market is usually Saturday morning (although the market is held whenever a boat lands), and vessels often work Monday to Saturday. The fleet numbers have fallen dramatically from the mid/late nineties when there was around twenty vessels working out of the port, altthough they are greater than they were two or three years ago.
Also, there's been bad weather recently so that'll probably have affected things.

15th March 2008, 00:42
Sam, that is quite worrying - only 9 boats currently based in Whitby?

Is this to do with quotas or something else?

15th March 2008, 01:41
Compared to Scarborough, only a few miles down the coast, Whitby's doing well. When I say nine boats, I'm talking of over 14/15m. As you will have seen, there's quite a few smaller potting vessels left.
There are several problems- fuel prices, days at sea, quota aswell as a lack of qualified fishermen (there is a fisherman's college in Whitby now). While the cod quota has gone up this year, whiting, which has featured prominently in catchs over the past few years, has been cut. Still, the cod quota is too low, as Whitby fishermen have been unable to avoid it and end up throwing it back into the sea, dead, a problem which is evident all around the UK. It's not that there is no fish, it's just that the boats aren't allowed to catch it, which is why most of the boats catch prawns and do guard work now.
Believe it or not, it's not all doom and gloom. The twenty something metre Our Lass II was built by Parkol Marine of Whitby for Locker Trawlers of Whitby last year. She can hold 8 or 900 boxes, yet she works out of Peterhead more often than not.
Compared to previous years (2005, 2006), there has been more boats, if you compare Whitby's fleet to anywhere in England which isn't on the South coast, then it's not doing bad.

15th March 2008, 09:13
not much better in sh we have 41 fishermen in our fleet 23 from sh 12 from filey 4 from brid and 2 poles

18th October 2008, 14:09
Are those Council statistics Mick on achieveing multi ethnicity in the fishing community targets!

matty b
23rd October 2008, 13:30
we in brixham have also noticed the decline in fishing boats, in the last year all these boats have been scrapped: catear , jacoba , magdelina , jacomina , de vrouw marie , onze liquenda and grietje has been sat in the harbour de - registered for the last 4 years and rumour has it that peace and plenty will also be scrapped

big wheels
27th October 2008, 21:59
Was in Spain this week. Went to three ports med side Malaga way. Loads of new boats. sixty foot purse boats every where All new and shiny with more building on the slips. Every thing stainless and in the case of the bottom trawlers even stainless stern gantrys doors and wires. Loads of new eight to ten meter dredgers\octopus potters exausts u could crawl down and nice new Volvo's the other end,even stainless winches. Nice new auction rooms offices and rigging sheds u could convert to aircraft hangers, And GUESS WOT
every one of them had a nice plaque on the side saying payed for by the EU.Good ol common Market and the Brits get shafted again!!!!!!