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Cornish Fishing

Before they were tin miners and smugglers, the Cornish were fishers. It is as much a part of our culture as pasties and surfing! 

Cornwall sits at a maritime crossroads with warm Lusitanean and Gulf stream currents bringing warm water species, and cooler northern currents bringing cold water species. As a result our fishing grounds are home to an astonishing diversity of fish, shellfish and crustaceans. 

Fishers setting sail from Cornwall's many fishing ports often don't know what they are likely to catch. This diversity has always been a great advantage to our fleet; but todays fishing regulations dominated by Europe's Common Fisheries Policy focusses on limiting catches through quota, and in a mixed fishery like ours this massisvely disadvantages Cornish fishers. 

Despite this, if there is one thing a Cornish fisher is, it's resourceful! Future challeges look set to heavily impact our fishing industry, but they also offer an opportunity for fishermen to highlight the efforts they are making to improve the sustainability and selectivity of their fisheries.

In this section you can find out about the history of Cornish fishing, read an overview of todays industry, learn about the variety of fishing methods used in the county, and discover ways in which our local fishermen are constantly improving the way they operate.

Cornwall Good Seafood Guide is underpinned by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) Good Fish Guide. The first UK consumer guide to sustainable seafood. For more information visit

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