They know their patriotic history in Appledore. The fleet that defeated the Spanish armada was largely built and crewed by the men of this port, in north-west Devon. The village, sitting on the banks where the Taw and Torridge rivers meet before they flow into Bideford Bay, is perhaps England’s oldest fishing port. So it was with dismay that locals looked on as the last English boat based here – the Hannah Marie – was sold five weeks ago. The marine-blue trawler is awaiting shipment to Denmark. According to local people, it is the latest victim of EU fishing quotas. “Not one English boat here now,” said Tony Rutherford, chief executive of North Devon Fishermen’s Association, his anger barely concealed. “There were about 80 to 100 in these parts in 2002.” Rutherford turned to his laptop, opened up a real-time map of the local seas on his screen and pointed at the red arrows representing fishing boats. “Just off Milford Haven now is a very big fishery for ray fish,” said Rutherford, who has owned Bideford Fisheries, a business on the quay that buys from fishermen and sells on to wholesalers, since 1979. He settled his cursor on each of… Read full this story
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