The fleet of a Cornish fishing dynasty has been re-joined by its latest crabber, fresh from a major re-fit at Mylor Yacht Harbour and helped by what could be the last significant tranche of European funding to improve conditions in the fishing industry.
The Cygnus 32 fishing boat Tizzardlee-on is the Gilbert family’s second vessel placed in the hands of Mylor’s Marine Team for major improvement works which take advantage of the €92.1 million European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
The funding scheme opened two and a half years ago – offering help on a wide range of projects from replacing fishing boat engines to investment in fishing ports – but once this funding pot is exhausted there is no guarantee of further similar support for the industry in a post-Brexit Britain.
For its duration, the EMFF scheme is managed in England by the Marine Management Organisation, with guidance and support for Cornish applicants provided by the Cornwall Rural Community Charity.
“We’d certainly encourage our friends in the fishing industry to get on and take advantage of the EMFF funding while it’s still available,” said Mylor Marine Team project manager Henry Goldsmith.
“From our end it’s so positive to be breathing new life into these vessels and giving added security to their crews.
“Like all EU grants the application process can be tricky, but the Cornwall Rural Community Charity is there to help in the first instance and we’re on hand to help push the applications through in the latter stages if needs be.”
In fact, Martin Gilbert, Newquay-based skipper-owner with his sons Daniel and Jake, has become a dab hand at these applications which include re-powering, crew comfort and safety projects all carried out by the Marine Team and funded to a greater or lesser extent by EMFF or its predecessor EFF.
His largest boat, Serene, will return to Mylor this winter for further work. “This is work we could never afford through our own resources,” he said, “and now we’re getting it done with speed and efficiency by the best in the business.”