MP Anthony Mangnall hopes that 2023 will be another "fantastic year" for the fishing industry after Brixham makes more record-breaking sales.
Brixham Fish Market has once again had a record-breaking year of sales, with 2022 seeing the market trade £60.8m in fish sales.
This new record is £16.5m higher than the previous record-breaking year when sales reached £43.5m.
Anthony Mangnall MP for Totnes and South Devon said: “Brixham Fish Market’s second year of record-breaking sales reflects the hard work and resilience of all those involved in the fishing industry.
"With over 60 per cent of fish landed in Brixham being exported to the EU, Brixham’s fish market is a great success and shows there is an optimistic and bright future ahead for the UK’s fishing sector.
"I am hopeful that 2023 will prove to be another record-breaking year for the fish market as well as the maritime businesses that support the sector. "South Devon is home not only to England and Wales’s most valuable fishing port, but also a new Marine Academy at South Devon College which aims to help the next generation of fishermen acquire the skills they need.
"Coupled with a strong Levelling Up fund bid for expansion of the port, there is a strong future for the town and surrounding community.
"I’m proud to represent Brixham’s fishing community and will continue to do all I can to support and speak up for the industry.”
Mr Mangnall is a strong advocate for the fishing industry and regularly speaks on behalf of fishing businesses within his constituency.
He recently welcomed the news that his campaign for more time to be allocated to discuss fishing, farming and rural affairs in Parliament was successful, meaning there will be more opportunities to raise issues with DEFRA ministers.
As the most valuable fishing port in England and Wales, Brixham’s record sales continue to show the sector is thriving despite negative reports following Brexit.
Many fishing boats now land their catch at Brixham due to the paperwork required to send fish directly to the EU.
Fish continued to command high prices in 2022 due to high demand, while the market’s online cloud-based auctions are a great success. However, Brixham Trawler Agents has reiterated the need for the Fish Market to expand, with the current space not being adequate for the growing market.
The company is therefore hopeful that Brixham’s Levelling Up Fund application called “Fish and Chips” will be successful, allowing the fishing community to develop key maritime infrastructure and help to create more local jobs.
It is hoped that a new Fisher Apprenticeship offered by South Devon College in Paignton will help encourage more people into the industry. The apprenticeship has been developed in collaboration with fish producer employers and approved by the Institute for Apprenticeship and Technical Education and Seafish, a public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Fisher apprentices will study at the recently opened South Devon College Marine Academy, a state-of-the-art facility based at Premier Marina’s new £75 million Noss-on-Dart Marina.
Barry Young, Managing Director, Brixham Trawler Agents said:
“A year like this is good for the whole area.
"The fishermen are earning the wages and spending them in Torbay and the surrounding area, while Torbay Council has done well out of its percentage of landing dues.
"This £60.8m isn’t just going to BTA.
"It is turnover through the market and we need to be re-investing.
"We need to remember that the reason why the boats are coming here from all around the country is because of the investments we make in infrastructure.
"The biggest issue we face is space.
"With the additional volumes of fish, Brixham has outgrown the market that was built in 2011 when the values of fish landed were approaching £20m Hopefully, Torbay Council’s application for Levelling Up Funding will be successful and another market building can be built, allowing the expansion to go ahead and make sure safe working conditions are met for all harbour users.”