We met Tamar salmon netter Alec Friendship this weekend – and learned that there’s a serious danger that riparian fishing rights owners along the river will get their way and end traditional salmon netting by a tiny number of just three or four licensed fishermen on the Tamar and Tavy.
(Alan may be familiar to readers, as he ran a ferry over the Tamar for many years until quite recently.)
Please indicate your support for the salmon netters here.
What’s striking about the netting fishery is that in common with a few other rivers on the Cornish coast, it’s a pulling boat fishery – the fishermen are only permitted to use boats under oars, not motors.
Fly fishing is big money business on these rivers (as Googling for fly fishing quickly reveals), and I gather from Alec that the riparian rights owners have been campaigning to close down salmon netting for 50 years. No doubt the riparian owners have public relations experts, political connections and the rest, but having met and talked with Alec and having learned a few years ago about the life of Alan Jewitt from obituaries, it seems unlikely that their campaign will have the same advantages.
Alec tells me that there’s a strong chance riparian interests will win following a consultation on the issue that ends in early April, and that the plan is that the remaining salmon netters’ licences will end on their deaths, and they will not be able to pass their licences on – so the matter is urgent!
This is a case of an unequal struggle – on one side business interest on with money and Sign the petition here: Keep The Tradition Of Salmon Netting On The Tamar Tavy
PS – Check out this traditional Tamar salmon netting boat built by Stirling & Son a little while ago. Also, there are some great photos of salmon netting to be found on Flickr.
PPS – Another Tamar salmon fishing boat, Old Stan’s boat, is at the NMMC. See a photo here.