Fishing in Cornwall exhibition

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cornwall, exhibition, fishermen, fishing boats, maritime museum, pentreath, photograph

cornwall, exhibition, fishermen, fishing boats, maritime museum, pentreath, photograph cornwall, exhibition, fishermen, fishing boats, maritime museum, pentreath, photograph

Photos from the Fishing in Cornwall exhibition. Top, rogueish fishing crew at Mousehole, circa 1910, taken by an unknown photographer; a probably publicity photo of fishermen in heavy weather gear from Mevagissey in around 1920 shot by S Dalby-Smith; and fishermen ‘tracking’ or towing a boat out of the harbour by hand at Porthleven, captured by A H Hawke of Helston

An impressive photographic exhibition exploring fishing in Cornwall in the days of sail and oarhas just opened at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall at Falmouth. Click on the thumbnails above to get a better look.

The beginning of the 19th century marked the last days of fishing by sail and oar around the Cornish coast, but it was also a time when photography came into wider use. This exhibition includes photos of the various types of boats that were used; the catching, landing, and marketing of the fish; the communities involved; and of the skills necessary to support the industry.The photos come from the Pentreath Photographic Archives.

The exhibition runs until 30 May.

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3 thoughts on “Fishing in Cornwall exhibition”

  1. Whenever I see pics of that era I think of WW1 and wonder how many survived to fish again, or if the world changed so much the industry never took up again in the same ways.

  2. Hi Jeff,

    the real change came in the 1960ies. Up to that time we still had wooden MFV, relatively smal and witha crew of 4 or so. On the land we still had horse-driven ploughs and if a tractor at all, it was small. But suddenly man decided that the ships hebuilt should no more suit to the area in which it was working, but nature should suit the ships. So in every aspect we went to magalomania. Everything had to be bigger, be it MFVs, tractors, cars and ships. The result: pelargic fishing employ 90% of the worlds fishermen but delivers only 10% of the fish landed in ports. 90 % comes from the factory-ships. The result: merciless hunting of the fish, total overfishing and a loss of a way of life that was with us from the early dawn of mankind. Our children will know fish only as penicillin infested beings from aqua farms or as fish fingers.

    So long

    Hans-Christian

  3. So glad I found this site – I was researching Cornish light fishing vessels/crews around the 1910 era, and this was really useful, thanks. Particularly the pictures – my story is set in Porthleven/Helston. Mildly annoyed to find I’ve missed that exhibition by a couple of years though!

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