Home U.K Cornish fishermen see post-Brexit surge in domestic trade as consumers buy British

Cornish fishermen see post-Brexit surge in domestic trade as consumers buy British


The fishermen have decided to sell more to home markets because of “French awkwardness” over new EU import paperwork. Now the fishermen are seeing an increase in sales of lobsters, spider crabs, and pollock at domestic markets. This increase in sales is also from households buying directly from Cornish suppliers, particularly during the lockdown.

Craig Tonkin, the owner of Fresh Cornish Fish in Newlyn, said he has seen a huge rise in domestic sales since Brexit.

He said: “We were an export company.

“We were probably 90 percent export and 10 percent UK.

“But now we are 60 or 70 percent UK and 30 percent export.”

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Another fisherman, Phil Trebilcock from Newquay said he is now going to change his export-focused business.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph he said: “I didn’t get involved with all that paperwork because I can sell what I catch here in Cornwall.”

Mr Trebilcock explained that he now markets his spider-crabs as “Cornish king crab”.

He said the increased sales from the domestic market were thanks to the public who had “got behind it and bought local”.

This contradicts an Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee that heard at the beginning of March that the combination of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic had caused the “perfect storm” for small fishing businesses in the UK.

Sarah Horsfall, co-chief executive of the Shellfish Association of Great Britain said: “You just could not have written it any worse if you had wanted to for the industry,”

Martyn Youell, a senior manager at south-west England fishing company Waterdance, said: “Sadly, there are some extreme forces operating on the supply chain and we probably will see some forced consolidation or business failure and that is impacting the fishing industry.

“We are struggling to find markets for some of the products we previously had very good markets for through small-scale exporters.

“Those at the more medium size, their costs have increased dramatically.”


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