A nice seaside town on the up

Brixham described as 'a nice seaside town on the up'

Brixham Lifeboat Station: Coxswain Mark Criddle

Torbay Lifeboat coxswain Mark Criddle has described Brixham as 'a nice seaside town on the up' after it regained its position as the highest earning fishing port in England and was crowned 'port of the year'.

Brixham received the 'port of the year' title at the UK's only awards ceremony celebrating the commercial fishing industry, the Fishing News Awards, which were announced in May.

Brixham was highly praised for the quality, quantity and variety of fish landed, as well its relatively new state-of-the-art fish market, its picturesque setting and its tourist appeal.

David Linkie, editor of Fishing News which runs the awards, said: "Brixham is quite simply one of the finest ports in the UK. While it may not be as big as some of its rivals, it more than makes up for that with its charm and the sheer quality of the fish landed there."

Brixham also enjoyed success in the 'technical innovation of the year' category with Brixham Trawl Makers named joint winner of the accolade for their work in creating the revolutionary square beam trawl concept.

RNLI coxswain Mark Criddle said: "Brixham is on the up. It's a nice seaside town and the lifeboat and fishermen are a big part of it.

"Torbay Lifeboat recently featured on the BBC programme Saving Lives At Sea which was very well received. It was hard hitting and people could see what we do, warts and all. Some people said it made them see the RNLI in a different light as they didn't realise we do so much."

Brixham Town Council chairman Rosemary Clarke said: "The commitment shown by the fishing industry and community in Brixham is second to none. These fishermen are the lifeblood of this town and deserve this national recognition.

"As a consequence of their hard work, Brixham has a number of thriving seafood restaurants which attract many visitors which can only be good for Brixham.

"Along with many other people, I thank the local people who selflessly give their time to what amounts to the fourth emergency service.

"In recognition of how much Brixham Town Council values the RNLI lifeboat in Torbay, we have given them a grant of £2,500 towards the 150th anniversary celebrations."

The port had a good start to 2016, achieving a 25 per cent increase in the value of quayside landings in the first quarter. This followed a 12 per cent rise in catch value last year.

Brixham's catch value in the first quarter of 2016 was £7.1million from 3,113 tonnes, compared to £5.7m from 3,107t in the same period in 2015.
An increase of £2.5m in annual catch value last year compared to 2014 helped Brixham regain its position as the top earning port in England, with a total of £23.4m from 12,379t.

Seven species – cuttlefish, scallops, sole, lemon sole, monkfish, turbot and squid – each contributed over £1m in terms of annual catch value.
The port's annual trawler race, in June, once again raised around £20,000 for local charities and good causes.
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